Maybe it’s due to my background as an old-skool synth player in a progressive metal band back in the early 90s, (when I could grow hair) is probably why I happen to enjoy this style of pop-metal.

Formed in 2007 and hailing from Gothenburg, Sweden, Dead by April released their sophomore studio album Incomparable in September 2011. Laced with layers of guitars, intricate synths, explosive drums, a bunch of screaming, and countering it all with catchy hooks and melodic vocals that tie it all together. It’s like throwing a bunch of musical styles into a blender and pouring out a well-produced power shake.

Kicking off the album is Dreaming which is like walking into a laser-filled room filled only to realize it’s a minefield. Going further down the rabbit-hole is Real & True a technically-syncopated nightmare (in a good way). Within My Heart is the highlight of the album as all the different styles are perfectly in balance and there are never too many screams or too many harsh changes to distract the listener from the chorus of “I’m am not strong enough I know, how could I ever let you go…Within my heart, within my heart” which is sure to have audiences singing along. The title track Incomparable (as well as a few other power-ballads) need to be re-categorized as progressive-ballads because, just as just when you feel yourself swaying a bit too much, the songs change and you’re reminded that Dead By April is here to rock.

A few other reviews I’ve seen about this album panned it by comparing Dead By April a metal boy band or that they didn’t bring the heavy. I’m not sure what they were listening to, because that was not my experience…or perhaps they have an aversion to rocking hard while having excellent melodic content?

Fans of 30 Seconds to Mars, Muse, and Papa Roach will find themselves easily digesting this album.

Recommended listening position: In a convertible on an open highway – driving real fast!

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