Affiance - No Secret Revelaed
Record Label: Bullet Tooth
Release Date: November 30, 2010
In today’s music scene it seems bands keep trying and trying to find a way to stand out. Instead of spending time on writing solid songs and then promoting them to no end, they tend to rely more on gimmicks and ‘get rich’ quick schemes to obtain a fan base. And in today’s scene I don’t necessarily blame them because even bands that are extremely talented have problems connecting with the kids who support the scene. However, when a local band from Cleveland boasts about having a synth part in a song done by James Barney (of the Devil Wears Prada), you have to wonder if it’s a joke or a last ditch attempt to bring in their potential fan base. Luckily for Cleveland based Affiance, they still worked hard to try to get somewhere and eventually snagged a tour spot with No Bragging Rights and Across the Sun. The tour ended out well for them as they caught the eye of Bullet Tooth head Josh Grabelle and he promptly signed them to his label.
The signing to Bullet Tooth was definitely a risk for the label in this situation. While having a high amount of potential, Affiance is still relatively new and unheard of in most markets. However, Affiance themselves provides hope to local acts throughout the nation pushing as hard as they can. The fact that it took only thirty minutes to impress Grabelle and get them signed should provide some motivation to struggling bands. As for Affiance, their debut full length No Secret Revealed is slightly refreshing, but still not completely there.
One of the easiest comparisons to make for Affiance is the comparison to I Am Abomination. In a scene that is in a love affair with breakdowns and screamed vocals, both bands use breakdowns rather sparingly and showcase singers that can flat out sing. Dennis Tvrdik definitely has a voice and knows how to use it throughout the album, ranging from nearly female-esque highs on “the Hive” to rather raspy, yet powerful cleans on songs like “Call to the Warrior.” To be honest, while he can certainly hit a note, his voice might be a turn off to some people who just can’t get into it. And the vocals play such a prominent role here that it’s more or less a buy or sell if you’re on the fence about No Secret Revealed.
As for the music aspect, the album is at times interchangeable with a good majority of the metalcore records out on the market nowadays. The only two major differences are the vocals and the occasional guitar work of Brett Wondrak and Dominic Dickinson. ThroughoutNo Secret Revealed Dickinson and Wondrak trade guitar leads and can write a pretty good melody or two, as well as a few technical solos that show up from time to time. However, a good part of the guitar work seems to be content with just playing second fiddle to the vocals and fade into the background with a relatively generic approach. Last of all, it doesn’t help that while none of the songs are necessarily bad here, none of them really stand out and makes the album slightly forgettable, which won’t exactly help them breakout and establish a larger fan base.
Affiance are a breath of fresh air in the scene at times with what they’re trying to do, but at the same time it just feels like something is missing. No Secret Revealed is so close to being a breakout debut but it just lacks the knockout punch. I’d be lying if I said they don’t have the potential to get it right on their next album, because they certainly do, but I don’t really see the writing pattern and song structures changing all too much over time. In the end Affiance should be able to find their own niche within the scene, but I don’t see them breaking out any more than that.