Following in the footsteps of labelmates Embodyment, Dead Poetic's debut album is a spectacular emocore release that capitalizes on the emotional boom in a tremendous way. Four Wall Blackmail is spearheaded by vocalist Brandon Rike's passionate serenades that pluck at the heartstrings with touching lyrics and beautiful vocal tones. Some of Dead Poetic's largest assets are the vicious screams that supplement the desperation and sorrow that Rike emits from every pore in his body, giving the album enough edge to impress fans of hardcore as well as those more in touch with the tear-jerking emo of Dashboard Confessional. The songwriting is fairly basic, relying on standard verse/chorus progression, yet this is a simple combination that Dead Poetic seems to work perfectly. The songs border on mainstream rock accessibility while remaining firmly in the outer edge of the accepted musical spectrum. Musically Dead Poetic is rather mundane, allowing each song to be molded around whatever Rike decides to express, be it contempt, agony, or love. "The Corporate Enthusiast" at times sounds similar to some of metalcore's finest, such as Vision of Disorder or Zao, yet the emotional hooks pull it back from falling over the brink of hardcore intensity. The friendly format is sure to appeal to modern rock fans, and Dead Poetic has a sound that could easily catapult them into the spotlight. Four Wall Blackmail is an excellent album that makes predictable surprisingly enjoyable.
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AllMusic Review by Jason D. Taylor