Aiden – Knives
Release Date: May 12, 2009
Record Label: Victory
Okay, so I’m gonna be honest. I hate Aiden. I hate their crappy image (from goth vampires to what seems to be Avenged Sevenfold Jr.). I hate their previous crappy albums. The only song of theirs I have even mildly enjoyed was the one that appeared on NCAA Baseball 2005 for my Playstation 2. I even hate their new album cover, with the stupid kid and his stupid barbed wired braces.
But I also believe everyone deserves a fresh start with each new album, so I closed my eyes and opened my ears to Knives, the fourth album from Aiden. And it’s funny, William Francis’ first words on opening track “Killing Machine” match my exact sentiments on reviewing this, “Fuck me? Fuck you. Fuck you and this whole city and everyone in it.” But I digress. Quite honestly, William Francis is not that bad of a singer, in fact his vocals is one of the (very) few bright spots. “Killing Machine” is paced by the quick drumming of Jake Davison and the punk-inspired chords of guitarist Angel Ibarra, but the downfall of the song, well pretty much the whole album, are the lyrics. Contrived words about hate, death, hell; you know, the whole shebang. “Let The Right One In” features a huge chorus, while “Scavengers of the Damned” is their best My Chemical Romance impression.
Remember earlier when I was praising Francis’ vocals? Well, I almost want to retract that statement after hearing “Elizabeth.” The “sinister” tone he takes falls flat and really dooms the song. “Crusifiction” tries to be edgy, but comes across as boring. “Excommunicate” is actually my favorite track from the album, as Ibarra’s chords are vibrant, while the chorus is fast and catchy. “Black Market Hell” features perhaps the best vocal work from Francis, and the aggression and edge finally feel real. Only took till the last track to reach it. At the very least, this track can give a glimmer of hope that Aiden will put it all together one day.
Knives really isn’t that horrible; in fact it features rather decent musicianship and vocals. Rather, it is just really bland. I get the sense they are forcing an image through their music instead of expressing something real. Songs like “Excommunicate” and “Black Market Hell” are steps in the right direction, but “Elizabeth” and “Crusifiction” are giant blunders. Aiden has the potential to put it all together one day. In the meantime, however, could someone please give that kid a bath and direct him to a sanitary orthodontist?
Didn't hear this album, but judging from their previous efforts the band is not nearly as bad as they are considered. There are many worse bands being featured and covered on this site on a daily basis.
I have a hard time digesting the suggestion that Wil's vocals are good now. They've been awful on all the old albums whenever he doesn't have a wall of music to cover up for him. My main reference point is the opening track to Conviction, where it's just him and a piano. Ugh.
That being said, the musicianship of the band is actually getting better, so I won't knock the compositions. Some very catchy stuff. But the vocals, lyrics and band image kill me.