I Killed the Prom Queen

When Goodbye Means Forever

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Following in the footsteps of Killswitch Engage, Age of Ruin, and God Forbid, to name but a few, Adelaide, Australia's cleverly named I Killed the Prom Queen represent the new wave of post-nu-metal bands pursuing a hybridization of hardcore aggression and social awareness with death metal's speed and daunting technical execution. Straightforward song structures and pervasive melodies are also a crucial part of the equation espoused by their debut, 2004's When Goodbye Means Forever, and initial offerings like the title track and "To Kill Tomorrow" prove that I Killed the Prom Queen are very adept at mining this winning formula -- despite their short time together. However, because of their over-reliance on hard/soft dynamics (also including alternating slashed-throat screams and recitative vocals), "Upon a River's Sky" and "Forgiveness Is Murder" are often as derivative as they are compelling, and their similarity to the aforementioned Killswitch Engage will have to be judged as buzzkill or superlative on a listener-by-listener basis (it all depends on your interest in this burgeoning style). On the other hand, psychically tortured standout tracks "Pointed at My Heart," "Portraits Dreams & Memories," and particularly "Death Certificate for a Beauty Queen" come off less indebted to the band's peers. Furthermore, they help highlight the group's facility for melding disparate moods and sonic styles, while revealing a deep-seated hatred for girls who wouldn't sleep with them in high school! Whatever gets you motivated, right? And, if nothing else, When Goodbye Means Forever is filled with abundant latent promise.

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