When I opened this compact disc, a press card fell out of the inlay. It touts Clandestine as a melange of Evanescence, Dream Theater, Fair to Midland, Rush, Lacuna Coil, Tool and Between the Buried and Me. Often times, record labels get carried away with hyperbolic write-ups, but in the case of Clandestine, the promotional material is spot on. If you like any of the aforementioned bands, you're going to have fun with The Invalid. This is one of the best debut albums that I've heard in a long time. No, I wasn't cajoled by the record label. I'm genuinely enamored by these guys and their blue-haired frontwoman.
Blue-haired frontwoman...hmm, where have I heard that before? No doubt, comparisons will be made to The Agonist, and I can see why. In my eyes, Clandestine is superior. As talented as Alissa White-Gluz is, she focuses too much on implementing a routine, banausic metalcore bark. June Parks sticks to mid-to-upper range clean vocals. Don't get the wrong impression; she screams bloody murder when the music calls for it, but I would wager that 90% of the singing is just that - singing. She also abstains from taking the operatic route, a cliche that lost its luster right around the time that Nightwish released Wishmaster.
Admittedly, a couple of tracks flirt with the frustrating redolence of Hot Topic metal (you know what I'm talking about). Lead single "Disappear in You" feels a tad formulaic, which explains why it was chosen to be the lead single. Elsewhere, you'll find a fresh batch of catchy, technical slam dunks that stick to your ribs. The chaotic "Philistine" is the song most likely to appeal to habitual metalheads. "Silent Sin" could be a hit on the radio if, y'know, the radio didn't suck Rodan's craggy, corrugated cock. Other highlights include "Pretend," "Fracture," "Phantom Pain" and the dynamic title track.
The Invalid is swarming with dulcet melodies and unearthly time signatures. It's uncanny how Clandestine combines the intricacies of progressive rock/metal with bright vocal lines that you are bound to hum to yourself over and over again. They make it look easy, but it's not. The only advice that I would give to such a promising band (since they asked and all) would be to add more guitar solos. That's just me being picky, though. If you need something new and fresh to listen to, check out The Invalid. Did I mention that June Parks was Asian? I thought I'd throw that out there. What? I'm allowed to inveigle any fetish freaks who may be visiting my site.
Posted by Dom Coccaro at 7:48 PM