Dying To Live ArtworkA Promise To Forget- Dying To Live

Release Date: 11th August 2017

Record Label: Self-released

Unfortunately, the debut album from A Promise To Forget, a quartet who hail from Birmingham UK, is one to forget.

The album starts slowly with ‘Old Friends’, a short guitar intro with the vocals kicking in about 10 seconds later. Sadly I wished it had stayed as an instrumental. Castle sounds a bit whiney which I found myself cringing at but at least it matched the equally depressing lyrics.

Then they move almost to the opposite end of the spectrum by producing a song much faster and heavier than the opening track. My whole posture changed whilst listening to this track; I found myself sitting up and nodding my head to the music rather than wanting to curl into a ball, whilst I think miserable thoughts.

‘Sylvia’ takes it up a notch and is heavier again with a great rythmn section with probably do Castles best vocal performance in the album.

This album is very up and down in its style, you move through the middle songs like you do a box of Thornton’s chocolates, you don’t quite know what you’re going to get.

They change it up even more with ‘Power’ as they Introduce growled vocals, something they continue to use for the rest of the album. It seems strange bringing them in at this point but I’m starting to learn the only thing I should be surprised at is not being surprised.

The growled vocals are a welcome addition as they improve the album imensely as they are far better than Castles clean vocals which really started to grate on me. I’m almost not sure what it is about them I disliked, they just seem disjointed.

The album is rounded off by ‘New Beginnings’ returning to the slow start the opening track had. Except it’s longer and slower. The piano is a nice touch but the intro went on for too long and was repetitive so I quickly got bored of it.

I’m a big fan of diverse and original records. I think it’s important in creating g a great one to make sure it’s boring. This album however seems to be on the opposite end of the spectrum, it’s almost too diverse; it’s like they didn’t know what sort of record they wanted to make so they tried to do it all but it just comes across as jack of all trades, master of none.

This is true except for the vocals. I found Castles vocals to be a bit montone, emotionless and for the most part lacked the versatility to match the music. It would sound fine with the slow depressing ‘post punk’ style (I still wouldn’t enjoy but at least it would but at least make sense) but when you put it over metal riffs it clashes like socks and sandals.

If you like experimental albums and can tolerate vocals which sound like a teenage whining at you, then great, buy this album. If not then keep your money firmly in your wallet.

Rating: 4/10

Recommended track: Sylvia