I haven't listened to Poisonblack since their debut work 'Escapexstacy' in 2003. I liked it, but basically they have drifted off my radar. Five years ago they were labeled as goth metal. If you travel, or Google, the internet, you will still find that many still qualify Poisonblack in this genre. Frankly, with 'A Dead Heavy Day,' I don't hear it anymore. Sure, on a couple of songs they have the spooky goth keyboards, but this is basically straight up melodic metal and/or hard rock. And this is a good thing.
The best stuff on this album comes when Poisonblack explores the aforementioned roads. Even better is when Ville Laihiala, with his raw vocals, is also left loose on guitar. If you want to invoke the whole goth metal thing, then closest thing may be the title track. But I have my doubts: it sounds like heavy/melodic metal. When you get to 'Me, Myself & I' you will find strong and heavy melodic rock with a great a rhythm section and guitar work. The music gets more interesting from here. 'X' is somewhat of a ballad with an arrangement and guitar solo that borders on the blues.
To say it again, Poisonblack does better when they pursue the whole melodic hard rock and metal motif. This comes around again from 'Human Compost' to the end. 'Human Compost' is raw and heavy melodic rock that borders on metal; more importantedly, it has a ripping guitar solo. 'The Days Between' may sound like American rock or metal, but is much better thanks to it's mixture of metal with a solid pace and another great guitar solo. 'Hatelove' is a true gem: a fast tempo bolstered buy a a thrashy melodic hard rock and a catchy melody and chorus. 'Lowlife' is simply compelling melodic hard rock with its driving rhythm section, solid riffs, and satisfying melody.
I think Poisonblack is pursuing a positive new direction on 'A Dead Heavy Day.' This is more melodic metal and hard rock than what we have heard before. I like it and hope for more. Very recommended.
- Craig Hartranft
Poisonblack seems to be pursuing a new course here. 'A Dead Heavy Day' is more melodic hard rock with a touch metal (or vice versa) than previous works. This work is interesting and satisfying.
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