The Absolute Uncontrollable

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On their fourth album, Swift complete the transformation from a metal-influenced post-hardcore band into a straightforward mainstream metal band. Mid-tempo riffery is the bedrock of The Absolute Uncontrollable, with vocals that alternate between a hoarse bark (neither as deep nor as inadvertently comical as the clich├ęd "death grunt" vocal) and a completely clean mainstream metal croon that's not far removed from the likes of Linkin Park. In fact, it sounds really weird when the barking voice joins in on the fadeout chorus of "Release the Wolves," in the midst of an otherwise radio-friendly, anthemic, and catchy tune. The album even ends on a suitably epic note, with the multi-part dramatics of the nearly eight-minute "Join the Dragonlord" followed up by the album-closing "...Built Us a House," a spaghetti Western ballad based on propulsively strummed acoustic guitars, subtle strings, and sensitive falsetto vocals. It's an unexpected ending to an otherwise hard-rocking album, but one that suggests that Swift are moving past their original stylistic parameters.

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