Rally the Fray - To Never Live in Denial (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Rally the Fray

To Never Live in Denial (2006)


It's not often that a band plateaus on the very first track of their album. In fact, I can't think of a single nother example of that happening. Colorado's Rally the Fray, then, have the dubious honor of being the first band I've heard to put out an album that fits that distinction.

"The Language Of Deeds" starts promisingly -- as an instrumental track that channels the best of `80s metal. Thick, crunchy riffs give way to a slick solo that really starts the album off on thr right foot.

Then...it happens.

The bludgeon that is derivative metalcore smashes the momentum started by the first track with completely un-inspired vocals and instrumentation too bland to stop the bleeding. Within a minute of seconds of "Thesis/Antithesis," Rally the Fray have laid all their cards out on the table -- and unfortunately, those cards are nothing more than a mediocre Shai Hulud impression.

When gang vocals are the only bright spot in a three-minute song, it's obvious that there's a problem. No song ventures far past the tepid stylings of "Thesis/Antithesis," and only on "The Facade" does the band present something engaging. The melodic rhythms that run through the more prevalent, hard-hitting riffs make the band sound alive, but James Van Lanens' vocals never quite take that step beyond repetition. The rhythm speeds up even more towards the end, showing flashes of the metal in the opening track, but the other elements of the music don't have the punch to keep up.

The album is a decent one if you don't get too attached to the unfufilled promise of the very first track -- it's all downhill from there.