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Maroon - "When Worlds Collide" (CD)

Maroon - "When Worlds Collide" CD cover image

"When Worlds Collide" track listing:

1. 24hourhate
2. And if I Lose, Welcome Annihilation
3. Sirius
4. Wake Up in Hell
5. Annular Eclipse
6. Arcturus
7. Confessions of the Heretic
8. There is Something You Will Never Erase
9. The Omega Suite Pt. II
10. Sword and Bullet
11. Vermin
12. Koo She
13. Below Existence

Reviewed by on June 30, 2006

"a genre-defining masterpiece"

The last label one would expect a metalcore band to be signed to is Century Media Records. However, Maroon is not your typical metalcore outfit. Hailing from Germany, the vegan, straightedge five-piece blend melodic elements of European metal into their otherwise abrasive sound much along the lines of Unearth’s “The Oncoming Storm.” Maroon’s “When Worlds Collide” is no less a genre-defining masterpiece than Unearth’s as well.

The album opens up at a blistering pace and rarely relents throughout thirteen tracks with the exception of a few short acoustic segue tracks and, of course, during breakdowns.

The first track, entitled “24HourHate,” sounds like a cross between Unearth and Killswitch Engage - more of the latter vocally. Maroon throws well-timed breakdowns and skillfully crafted solos at the listener as well as a variety of vocal styles including (primarily) pure hardcore yelling and some sung hardcore style vocals (similar to Killswitch Engage), some singing and everything in between.

"Annular Eclipse" stands out a bit before the middle of the album, as it runs the gamut of sounds (for a metalcore track) – starting off with a slow repetitive breakdown-quality riff, picking up with a typical metalcore riffs, the double-bass drums kicking in, then after a short guitar-only part, what amounts to a metalcore blast-beat, before slowing it all down again with the original heavy riff and then an actual sung (not just “clean vocals”) chorus line. The blast-beat follows once again and the songs ends amid heavy double-bass again and melodic metal riffage.

The band shows more of their melodic side on the main riffs in “Confessions of the Heretic” as well as the instrumental track “The Omega Suite Pt. II.” However, Maroon exhibits pure brutality on tracks like “Wake Up In Hell,” “There Is Something You Will Never Erase” and “Vermin.” All the while they lay down enough double-bass drums to beat anyone into submission. Yet Maroon demonstrates enough musicianship with this intensity to keep things interesting during numerous songs that run longer than four (and even five) minutes and throughout the album.

Quite simply, Maroon have taken the best parts of Killswitch Engage and Unearth and exhibit an intensity that supercedes them both. The result is nothing short of astounding, even if the music seems like it has been done before at times.

Highs: Nonstop intensity, good musicianship and guitar solos

Lows: This sound has been done before

Bottom line: 'When Worlds Collide' is one of the best albums metalcore has to offer

Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls
4.5 out of 5 skulls

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)