Rain in Hell

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Aiden's Rain in Hell EP (arriving, appropriately enough, on Halloween) pretty much picks up where 2005's Nightmare Anatomy left off; it's a nocturnal collection of darkly melodic, punky/post-hardcore/pop songs "for the suffering, the legions of boys and girls out there who feel hopeless, who feel like they don't have a place to go..." Despite lacking a distinct identity (Aiden still sounds exactly like a teenage version of AFI), the EP isn't half bad. But with only six songs to its name, half really isn't good enough, and the set suffers from the absence of really memorable tracks. "A Candlelight Intro" is basically a two-minute sonic buildup instead of an actual song (an intro on an EP?), while the two covers -- Billy Idol's "White Wedding" and the Misfits' "Die Die My Darling" -- play as only mediocre, since they're both sorely missing an electrifying punch of attitude. The catchiest tracks, "The Suffering" and "We Sleep Forever," sound so disturbingly like AFI, it's almost ridiculous; the acoustic vulnerability of "Silent Eyes" at least nabs lead singer wiL points for effort, even if the song sounds like a thrown-in demo. Judging from their past, Aiden can indeed put together some hook-laden and singalongable tracks. But hopefully their next effort proves this better, since Rain in Hell simply leaves their fans craving for more -- but only because it's so unsatisfying. [The EP comes packaged with a bonus DVD of live footage and music videos.]

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