Death Pop Romance

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Hard and quite heavy but not exactly a replica of nu metal, this Denmark group keeps things rolling on Death Pop Romance with a rapid-fire guitar assault during "This Legend Forever," which features the dual work of guitarists Jesper Tilsted and Lars Christensen. The song could be marginally classified as "emo metal." Punishing but not to the point of turning listeners off, there is a lot going on and thus a lot going for this tune. "Abandon Your Hope" is a tad tamer and more rock-oriented despite the wails of vocalist Kasper Thomsen before giving way to a grandiose, bombastic, and rather rich chorus. The band knows how to mix a hellish hook within each track, particularly the gear-changing, high-octane and testosterone-saturated "Phantoms" that sounds like a cross between System of a Down's winding tendencies and Metallica. A simple, lean and relentless romp ensues next during "The Curse of Bravery." The first highlight, which again has several twists, has to be the tight and infectious "Remembrance" that is driven by the pounding of drummer Morten Toft Hansen. It's a song that sounds like a quasi-rockabilly number by a band without their Ritalin. Raunchy keep the energy high from start to finish, particularly during a brooding "City of Hurt" that seems to fall somewhere between Strapping Young Lad and Fear Factory. Calling their sound "futuristic hybrid metal" might be a stretch, but Raunchy are quite capable of bridging the old metal sound with a nu metal intensity, without the constant blood-curdling screams. A good example of this is the polished and pristine "The Velvet Remains."

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