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Johnny B Morbid: Fall Of The Cicada

Having listened to Fall Of The Cicada four or five times I had to recheck the press sheet that arrived with it proclaiming horror punk outfit Johnny B Morbid had delivered their latest album. Why the recheck? Well because up until that stage I'd happily have described the ten tracks hammered out here as metal, in places power metal and often, due to Johnny B Morbid's vocals, alt-rock. That doesn't really have any bearing as to whether Fall Of The Cicada is good or not, more a warning that if it's horror punk you're looking for and having checked reviews of previous JBM albums, their fans probably will be then I'm not sure you'll find a huge amount of it here. Although you will find a punk ethos in terms of attitude and attack, if not so much execution.

Big riffs, harmony guitars and layered vocals abound as "True Believer" charges into view, while "Crucifiction" hits like mid period Metallica through its slow grind, before heading into some sort of amalgam between black, speed and thrash metals and, to be fair, a punky spat out chorus. Good it is too, admittedly not in a soil your pants and swing them, sopping wet, above your head kind of way, but more in a manner that results in head nodding and knowing smiles. And that's how things progress, "It Came From The North" employing the blaring riff followed by a clank of cymbal and then repeat format, to open its account. Before another all too expected gallop of drums and guitar head in a different direction altogether. Whereas Morbid himself brings a more contemporary snarling vocal attack that may well snag this band a younger audience than their music initially suggests, sounding both out of place and perfectly situated at the same time.

Repeat visits don't just go out of their way to disprove the genre tagging this band hang round their neck, it also reveals this album's main flaw, it's lack of variety. A feel as you come towards its end that you've already heard the likes of "In The Unknown" and the album's title track way too often already. However if you've liked the album up to that point, there's no reason why you shouldn't continue to do so, even if it is a bit samey.

In the end, this is good, if reasonably unspectacular stuff. You might be able to pursue a case against Fall Of The Cicada under the trades description act, but there's little doubt you'll bang your head in a decidedly metal style as you do so.

Track Listing
1. True Believer
2. Before I Fade
3. Crucifiction
4. Exile
5. Above and Beyond
6. It Came From The North
7. Future In Flames
8. Fear Itself
9. In The Unknown
10. Fall Of The Cicada

Added: January 17th 2016
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Johnny B Morbid on BandCamp
Hits: 1113
Language: english

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