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Revamp - "Wild Card" (CD)

Revamp - "Wild Card" CD cover image

"Wild Card" track listing:

1. The Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown: On The Sideline
2. The Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown: The Limbic System
3. Wild Card
4. Precibus
5. Nothing
6. The Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown: Neurasthenia
7. Distorted Lullabies
8. Amendatory
9. I Can Become
10. Misery's No Crime
11. Wolf and Dog

Reviewed by on August 30, 2013

"Nearly every facet of this release is of the highest quality, from songwriting to vocal delivery, and the album as a whole marries aggression to melody in a way that many bands just can’t pull off at this level."

“Wild Card” may only be a sophomore album, but the members involved are strong veterans of the metal scene, with the band fronted by Floor Jansen, who has been involved with such acts as Mayan, After Forever, and Nightwish. Nearly every facet of this release is of the highest quality, from songwriting to vocal delivery, and the album as a whole marries aggression to melody in a way that many bands just can’t pull off at this level.

As Jansen’s project following the demise of After Forever, it should go without saying that the vocals are focused on female clean singing, but the range here is immense. There’s over-the-top operatic wailing, full-bodied and deep singing, and even a handful of harsh growls. “Wild Card” definitely isn’t “the Floor show” though, as the instrumentation is on par and given an equal focus throughout the disc.

These tracks aren’t light on either the metal elements or the symphonic ones, so no one will be left wishing the album went more strongly in one direction or the other. There’s a wide range of sounds present, from fast-paced guitars that are equal to any melodic death metal excursion to more gothic and opera-style sounds. Those gothic twists will bring to mind Tristania, although the music as a whole is more symphonic than dark and brooding.

A variety of guest spots further round out the disc from such names as Devin Townsend and Mark Jansen of Mayan. Fans of that band in particular should take note, as there’s a good deal of bleed through between the two outfits, with the track “Misery’s No Crime” in particular sounding like it could have come off Mayan’s “Quarterpast” debut. In addition to those harsher and more extreme aspects, “Wild Card” will have a huge appeal for fans of female-fronted projects like Nightwish or Within Temptation, and the strong balance between extreme and melodic is on par with Sirenia’s latest album “Perils of the Deep Blue.”

Highs: Perfect balance between extreme metal and melodic clean singing.

Lows: Although all the elements are presented with the highest quality, there's nothing particularly new or groundbreaking going on.

Bottom line: Fans of female-fronted bands who don't want to miss out on the heaviness need to hear this album.

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)