Cry My Name – Reflections Review

Band: Cry My Name
Album: Reflections
Label: Bastardized Records
Genre: Metalcore
Country: Germany
Release Date: April 21st, 2017

Metalcore may well be the most polarizing sub-genre in metal. It is a form of music that many young fans use as a stepping stone into the heavier side of things. With its heavy death metal influenced riffs, harsh vocals and cleanly sung, sometimes sickly-sweet choruses (at least they are the stereotypes) it is much more accessible to the average music fan. On the other hand, many old-school metal fans dismiss it as not being “real metal” which frankly; I believe to be complete and utter bullshit. Metalcore had been fairly successful in it’s infancy but in the early 2000s it really took of when we suddenly experienced the New Wave Of American Heavy Metal where bands such as Killswitch Engage, As I Lay Dying and Shadows Fall took metal music, fused it with a melodic factor and rammed it down the public’s throat. Since then plenty of bands have taken the baton and ran with it. Some have achieved unimaginable commercial success, most notably Sheffield’s own, Bring Me The Horizon who have slowly but surely softened their sound and brought it from sweaty clubs and bars to arenas and festivals on a global scale.

In recent years the genre has flourished. However, with so many fresh bands attempting to work from the same blueprints the scene appears to be very over-saturated and a lot of the bands have very similar sounds. This brings me on to the subject of this particular review Cry My Name and their latest effort ‘Reflections’. The band formed in 2007 in the city of Hamburg, Germany from the fragments of numerous local bands. From the outset the boys set about creating a blend of hardcore punk and metal. Since their inception they have released a total of two EPs titled ‘Speak For The Voiceless’ and ‘Letting Go Of Yesterday’ as well as two full-length albums titled ‘Burning Impulse’ and ‘Elements. All of which showed potential and a pretty solid take on modern day metal, but perhaps lacked the certain something that is required to make them stand up above the rest of the crowd. Have they managed to find it this time out?

The album opens with the track ‘Patience’ which is a pretty ironic title if you ask me as this song really doesn’t fuck about. We go from a brief introduction of reverb-drenched guitar parts into a full on metal assault. The vocals are harsh and reminiscent of a certain Mr. Sykes on the earlier Bring Me The Horizon albums. The drums are a perfect combination of technical prowess and steady rhythm and the guitars remain melodic whilst maintaining the heaviness that has been accrued by the other instruments from the outset. This song has all of the bells and whistles that you would expect from modern day metal. It includes sound samples, overdubbed vocals, and overall clean, crisp production. This all adds to the heavy, yet accessible sound that the boys appear to be going for.

The next track ‘Changes’ is a completely different animal. The raw, guttural vocals and low tuned stomping riffs remind you of ‘Backburner’ era For The Fallen Dreams. This one was made for the pits. The group vocals throughout are exactly what the doctor ordered. In a live setting, the fans will love this. The chorus is catchy, without falling in to the trap of being too sickly-sweet which is so often the downfall in modern-day Metalcore acts. At just under two minutes we are greeted with a semi-melodic break before throwing us back in to the heavy grooves.

‘Restless’ starts at a much slower pace. Echoed, reverb-drenched vocals sound out over the top of clean guitars before picking up the pace steadily. The vocals remain much more melodic for the most part. This track shows a completely different side to the band and an excellent ear for melody. The guitar riffs behind the vocals and the way they link in perfectly with the rhythm sections of the band are reminiscent of popular Metalcore acts such as I Killed The Prom Queen and Miss May I with the way that they drive the song forward. This song is certainly the one that will stick in my memory for the longest.

Cry My Name released the track ‘Recover’ a few weeks ago with an accompanying music video. The track bolstered some fantastically varied vocal techniques, Parkway drive-esque lead guitars and a chorus that has a real Architects-influenced sound. This track definitely offered all of the best attributes that the band has to offer and served perfectly as an introduction to ‘Reflections’ as a whole. Perhaps the most noteworthy part of this track has to be the spoken word verse in the latter stages of the track, the Mike Shinoda influenced vocals lead back into the infectious chorus perfectly and shows yet another string in the ever-growing bow of this band.

The album doesn’t seem to lose pace through the latter stages, keeping up the galloping speed that the band has gained through the first two thirds of the release. The track ‘Castles’ has all of the best attributes of the genre. A catchy, impressive lead guitar line plays continuously underneath the complex rhythm parts and Killswitch Engage-esque verse riff. All whilst the vocalist transitions effortlessly between deep, Death metal influenced growls and barked, emotive post-hardcore shouting. The track ‘Relentless’ seems to be straight out of the Caleb Shomo school of song writing. It starts with a ridiculously catchy vocal melody (it later transpires that this is the chorus of the song) before throwing you headfirst in to an aggressive verse with heavy guitars and hardcore drum beats. Half way through the song we are treated to one hell of a breakdown with the words “MY FEET DON’T TOUCH THE GROUND” being delivered with such ferocity that you genuinely feel concerned for the well being of the frontman’s vocal chords.

Overall this album is a tremendous success. It hits hard when it needs to, delivers some seriously large hooks and wonderful melody that will no doubt seer their way in to your brain. More importantly though, it demonstrates a clear and honest attempt to branch out from the monotonous Metalcore formula that has been overused by so many for so long. So in answer to my question: Yes, I believe that Cry My Name has all of the determination and ambition to succeed. The difference is in my opinion that this time around they are armed with the songs with which to do so.

Hopefully this is the release that will take this band to the next level.

Rating: 8/10

1. Patience
2. Changes
3. Restless
4. Backbone
5. Recover
6. Lost
7. Castles
8. Reflections
9. Relentless
10. Awakening

Total Playing Time: 34:38

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