Swedish bands have a great tradition of producing fine music in both the power metal and AOR/melodic rock genres and, on World War X, JD Miller seems to be trying to cross the divide and amalgamate the two.
Does it work? I’m not too sure.
Mighty Music is releasing the record on April 28, 2017, and will be hoping it appeals to fans of those who like their rock melodious but with the big forceful sound that power metal brings to the table.
Many of the tracks are keyboard-inclined and the opening track, “Journey Through The Past” is a case in point, in which they make several appearances. This opener is indicative of what to expect on the rest of the album; a bit of keyboard action, driving riffs, a big drum sound and with a guitar solo that just doesn’t quite fit the pace of the song. The vocals are quite interesting too because although they are strong, they often sound layered and don’t have the necessary kick in the balls effect that power metal demands.
The majority of songs fit the same formula of booming drums and gang-vocal choruses with the odd exception which includes “Evergrey”. This is the standout track of the album as it sets out to be a slower melodic rock song and everything fits beautifully. The pace is perfect, the vocals smooth and emotional and the guitar work excels. It will definitely be a lighter-waver when played live.
Whilst World War X is not without is good points it is not varied enough and the I feel that often the vocals cannot be sung more than three or four words at a time, stressing each one beyond necessity.
I may be missing the point here, but I reckon that if JD Miller chose a corner and stuck to it they could excel but by trying to cover different bases they miss more than they hit.