A brilliantly engaging album that mixes atmospheric gothic, intricate metal vibes and a soaring classic rock mood from start to finish. The Australian based three piece; consisting of Bethany Neville on vocals, Dave Ben Lee on guitars as well as backing vocals and finally Leon Cadden on drums, have released their self-titled debut album. This superb album connects with listeners in many ways straight from the start.
The opening track Hopes & Dreams sets a very intriguing mood to the listener’s ears by having an atmosphere that can only be described as gothic in nature. This is done in a similar way that IN THIS MOMENT do on their track Salvation. What works extremely well for this opener is Dave’s soaring guitar solo, which is then accompanied by rhythmic drum work that Leon introduces to help blast it into a full on Rock song.
We then hear Bethany’s nice and gritty vocals for the first time, it’s at that point we get the sensation of this album will have very iconic rock vibes throughout. Also in this song the lyrics make you think about the decisions that you make in life and what they lead to “In my life, there’s things worth fighting for are they worth dying for. No one can tell me, no one can tell me.”
Rotten Child follows on in a true rock fashion right from the start. With its blistering guitar riff before we hear from Bethany bringing another angle on life’s journey, this time reflecting on a rough childhood, feeling like an outsider throughout. We get that feeling through the lyrics “I can like the pain, I can like the darkness where I live it makes me laugh. I like the cold, how I know I won’t get old, trying to heal this bleeding soul.”
100 Days has a fantastic combination of Leon’s blistering drumming, the enthralling mix of bass and electric guitar as well as vocals from both Bethany and Dave on backing. This combination helps this track making it one of the stand out songs of this album. Especially with its vibe and feeling of being a rock anthem that appeals to multi-generational audiences.
Last Breath, is a slightly slower and slightly less intense track. It’s one where we can hear the velvety and raw vocals of Bethany. These really shine on as they are more exposed than usual, they are accompanied by nicely intricate guitar riffs throughout to give a lasting impact.
The intense heaviness returns over the course of the next tracks. Warrior Soul with its echoing of epic guitar riffs and vocals throughout. Strength Inside is another one of the standout songs that offers the listener a time to think about the subject of pacifism with its lyrics being entwined with anti-war “I think that we can do better, war is not the way.” The King Is Dead and Hateful both have offerings of a tremendous atmosphere of classic rock and metal not just in intense gritty vocals, but in terms of the intricate guitar riffs and the thunderous drum work all through them.
The album ends with Letting Go, which is a really nice slow burner to end on as it has similar Gothic and Rock elements to the first song. It is also a very emotionally driven song within its lyrics that can connect with the listeners “Let me get angry, at the people that hurt me. I need to get angry, at how they treated me.”
If you are a fan of bands such as HALESTORM, IN THIS MOMENT and THE PRETTY RECKLESS then I would definitely recommend this album for you.
Words: Stefan Chilvers
Accidental President is out now.
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