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The Veer Union - "Divide The Blackened Sky" (CD)

The Veer Union - "Divide The Blackened Sky" CD cover image

"Divide The Blackened Sky" track listing:

1. Borderline
2. Bitter End
3. I Will Remain
4. Buried In The Ground
5. Inside Our Scars
6. Live Another Day
7. Divide The Blackened Sky
8. Silent Gun
9. Last Days Of Life
10. Stolen

Reviewed by on April 11, 2012

"In creating a radio-ready rock album with more heft than you'd expect, The Veer Union has exceeded their debut with 'Divide The Blackened Sky.'"

Playing a post-grunge pop-metal that will be familiar to Nickelback fans everywhere, the Veer Union has returned with its sophomore album, "Divide The Blackened Sky." Unlike selections I reviewed from the band's 2009 debut disc, "Against The Grain," these tunes appear to have a bit more heft to them, even if they are still on the over-produced side.

The disc begins promisingly, with "Borderline" showing a dose of anger on the part of singer Crispin Earl that does a good job of balancing out the pop sheen. The next track, "The Bitter End," was well-chosen as the album's first single, with some catchy hooks and electronic elements that would feel right at home on modern hard-rock radio (and it should, given that it was produced by Brian Howes, who has manned the desk for the aforementioned Nickelback, as well as Puddle of Mudd and Rev Theory).

Earl has said that the band's hard times in the wake of "Against The Grain," including the fact that they were dropped from their label, are reflected in the heavier feeling of the songs. That goes a long way toward explaining the Alice In Chains-inspired riff that drives the disc's best track, "I Will Remain."

On the other hand, the band still shows a tendency toward featherweight pop on the comparatively treacly "Inside Our Scars," which has Earl saying "I need you to know you've always been the reason that I breathe oxygen" and feels a bit like a love child of Alice In Chains and Journey. "Live Another Day" is also on the light side.

Still, the moments when the band successfully blends heaviness and pop, which also include the title track, as well as the closer, "Stolen," have an electricity to them that is a vast improvement over "Against The Grain."

In creating a radio-ready rock album with more heft than you'd expect, The Veer Union has exceeded their debut with "Divide The Blackened Sky." Still, it's a bit over-produced, and some of the poppier tracks feel a bit too lightweight.

Highs: "I Will Remain," "Borderline" and "Stolen"

Lows: The lightweight "Live Another Day" and "Inside Our Scars."

Bottom line: Better-than-average pop-metal that vastly improves on the band's first album.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 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)