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Matt Baird – Vocals

Oliver Crumpton – Drums

Jesse McDermott – Guitar

Ryan Pei – Bass


            Spoken began in 1996 and it wasn’t long before they signed their first record deal. They released 3 albums and a “greatest hits” on the label beginning with On Your Feet in 1997. They then hit stores in back to back years (1999 and 2000) with ...What Remains and Echoes of the Spirit Still Dwell. The band’s next three albums came under the Tooth and Nail Records label. They introduced a post-hardcore sound blended with the melody that they were known for. The first album under the label arrived in 2003. They followed it up with ones in ‘05 and ‘07 which included their self-titled album. Since then they have left their label and began on their next release. The seventh album, Illusion, was just released in early 2013. It includes 12 tracks that last 41 minutes. They get the album started with “Stand Alone,” which begins with aggressive and angry vocals that eventually give way to a more melody driven style. The screaming vocals are not that bad. They don't overdo it and they sound natural. They also match up well with the normal style. The music is spot on for this tune. It’s hard to ignore the beat that they lay down during this tune. “Beneath The Surface” further blends the two vocal styles. They roll along with ease and it’s easy to sing right along with the band on this one. The music again is solid as the drums hit hard and the guitars play around. It’s a nice little number. “Don’t Go” offers up an awesome groove to begin the track. The vocals then come and the drums take a step back, but the guitars continue on their path. There seems to be less screaming in this tune and when it does show up it is just for a secondary voice. The vibe and beat of this tune is killer and it’s something I can see many people getting into. The chorus flows so nice that is becomes infectious. “Through It All” comes back with another stellar sounding track. The vocals are clean and clear while the music sweeps you off your feet. It’s an easy listening track compared to the first couple of tunes. The vibe is there as are the transitions. This is another track that can be listened to over and over again. It’s at the top of the class. “More Than You Know” opens up with a high energy intro that give way just a little bit when the vocals come in, but they make their way back. I really like the way this track transitions itself and the multiple vocals help that out tremendously. The tune flows really well and really sticks with you. “Remember The Day” is an even lighter song than some of the others. It again offers up a sweeping sound with clean vocals out front while the music just coasting nature. It’s a decent track, but may get lost in the shuffle. “Shadow Over Me” gets insane with a high level of energy flying in and out of the track starting with the intro. The screaming vocals enter the mix again at a more abundant level. These ones are over done like some of the others and work in well with the other elements going on. I like the increased intensity after several slower tunes. “Accuser” keeps that intensity level up with some more growling and harder music. The guitars really rumble while the drums strike with aggressiveness. They do lighten up the track slightly when the clean vocals come in, but they go back to the nasty side of things a couple times after that. The track is decent and really doesn’t have anything wrong with it, but it also seems to not have the big draw element to it that keeps you coming back. It may get lost in the shuffle for most people. “Take Everything” is another solid tune the glides along. The vocals are solid as is the tunes. It follows some of the other tracks in that aspect. It’s a middle of the road song. “Tonight” is a great tune. It sweeps along collecting everyone. The lyrics stick with you as you sink deeper into the vocals and music. It is just one of those tracks that keep you hitting the repeat button again and again. The vocals are clear and allow you to sing right along with them. You can connect with this track. “Calm The Storm” slows the album back down with another great track. Like the last song, you can connect with this tune. The sound is phenomenal and will have you closing your eyes and enjoying every word and every beat. This track is the diamond in the rough. It has a great pace to it and the vocals are some of the best I’ve heard. This track will take the world by storm. “Illusion” wraps up the album like it came in, with aggression and anger. They rip through the three and a half minutes with fast strikes to the kit and screams. It is definitely on the post-hardcore side of things and will have the fans that lean that way excited. Overall this is a solid release. I have to admit this is the first time I really listened to Spoken and knew who it was. I like the overall sound of the band and this album. The first track scared me a little with all the screaming, but the bulk of the release holds those screams in check and in doing so they work to the bands advantage. When they do appear they are not overworked or overused. The music has some time to shine as well. The guitars get a couple solos while the drums lay down some hard and heavy beat in some of the tracks. In the slower tracks the tunes just glide along with ease. The clean vocals and lyrics really steal the spotlight for this album. The vocals are just well done while the lyrics are written to a high level. This is a nice record.


Rating: 8 out of 10

Tracks to Watch:

Don’t Go, Through It All, Tonight, Calm The Storm


Track List:

1.      Stand Alone

2.      Beneath The Surface

3.      Don’t Go

4.      Through It All

5.      More Than You Know

6.      Remember The Day

7.      Shadow Over Me

8.      Accuser

9.      Take Everything

10.  Tonight

11.  Calm The Storm

12.  Illusion


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