9mm Parabellum Bullet

Revolutionary

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Mistaking increased brutality -- or, in this case, franticness -- for creative growth is a problem that plagues many talented hard rock bands, and on Revolutionary, 9MM Parabellum Bullet confirm that they are guilty of that as well. The band used to balance catchy riffs with a unique heavy metal/alternative rock aesthetic similar only to Party of Helicopters on their debut, but by their third full-length, the balance was completely lost, and the group landed on the power side. It's not really heavy in a techno-thrash way -- they still have the emo-ish vocals, there are more Middle Eastern-sounding clean guitar lines than ever, and the riffs themselves are melodic and never oppressive. But the record, for the most part, is frustratingly frenzied, as if the band has written an hour's worth of material and then was ordered to squeeze it into 30-plus minutes. Moreover, the music itself is considerably less catchy than before -- 9MM seem to care mainly for dramatics this time, and whatever hooks there are get swiftly swept away with the flow of the music, which largely ignores the good old verse-chorus scheme. The end result is still not half bad -- there's a lot to explore on the record, and the band retains its trademark sound, not as pompous as real metal, but more epic than most alt-rock. It's just a different kind of good music -- they are no longer fit for a rock radio, but will instead appeal to fans of intense and claustrophobic hardcore-emo in the vein of Ling Tosite Sigure. In fact, 9MM sound dangerously close to that band on Revolutionary, but thankfully, the music remains genuine enough to prove that it's a case of shared wavelength, not blatant ripoff.

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