I Promised Once – “Salvation” Album Review

I Promised Once – “Salvation” (Needful Things)
By: Brian Campbell

 

Metalcore is truly a global genre, this time reaching across the world to Tokyo, Japan with I Promised Once, who prove that music is a universal language on their latest album “Salvation,” even if the translation isn’t always perfect.

Opener “Succubus,” which features some vocal assistance from Shrezzers, is a sonic rollercoaster all unto itself, with parts of it sounding plucked from the latest “Final Fantasy” video game. “Forever Lost” is a true juggernaut, a straight up chugging banger that would sound right at home being screamed in any Warped Tour parking lot. “Homecoming” slows things down a bit with big guitars and bigger choruses, though the shred returns to form on the following “Departed,” proof that “Salvation” is a better album when it stays heavy. Speaking of, “Chaos Is A Ladder” is everything “Salvation” should be – lightning fast, uncompromisingly heavy and littered with breakdown after breakdown and scathing vocals.

As English is not I Promised Once’s first language, it shows when the band delivers their clean vocals. “Break” might be the exception as the tempo and crushing guitars provide a bail out. The song also features rapper Blumio, which adds an interested dynamic. “Salvation” probably could have used this break from the norm a bit earlier in the track list. “Break” bleeds perfectly into the equally impressive “Lucifer,” which features perhaps the album’s best clean vocals, killer guitar work and solid structures.

“Salvation” isn’t a perfect record by any means. It’s a great start for I Promised Once and their transition to the States. The bones are here, they just need some refining. If “Salvation” was more along the lines of “Chaos Is A Ladder,” “Break” and “Lucifer,” then it would be better, but there’s promise here, and that’s really all you can ask for.

 

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