Artist – The Birthday Massacre
Album – Superstition
Year – 2014
Genre – Gothic Rock/Pop-Metal
Have you ever fantasized about what would happen if Cyndi Lauper decided to add metal riffs to her music? Well then do I have the band/song to make your dreams come true! The Birthday Massacre have been crafting dark synthpop metal tunes for more than a decade. Each song features beautiful vocals done from frontwoman Chibi over lush layers of synths and strings, as well as crunching metal riffs. The effect is actually rather ethereal and truly a treat to listen to. “Oceania” is my favorite track from their newest album Superstition, and I think many people who traditionally shy away from harder rock and metal will very much enjoy this track for its pop sensibility.
Right from the opening staccato drum machine opening, your mind will immediately scream 80’s. Well that feeling never really leaves the whole song. Chibi’s voice has an almost identical quality to the great female pop singers of the same era, like the aforementioned Lauper and golden age Madonna. The synthy bass line keeps right in time and the song even has a similar beat to those songs of decades past. The prechorus is where you’re going to the band pull out some of their first metal guitar sounds as well as play around a bit more with their synth melodies.
The catchiness of the chorus hinges upon the way the synths blend so perfectly with Chibi’s voice, again just like back in the 80’s. Think how good “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” sounded back then. Now add that modern metal crunch. It’s executed so well, with Chibi’s voice hitting high notes with no problem. It’s uplifting and really demonstrates a perfect melding of two worlds.
The next really big highlight comes right after the second chorus with a great old school 80’s hair metal guitar solo. And then right that there’s echoing and atmospheric synth solo that’s dark and brooding, but almost mystical in feeling. It transports you to a place of your imagination’s choosing, but perhaps evokes feelings of the sea or water like the title suggests.
The last chorus is cathartic and transitions right into another quick guitar solo before ending with the ocean waves. The song somehow keeps itself upbeat, but also is, in a strange way, very calming. The vocals are smooth and the synths add a beautiful smooth texture from beginning to end. The guitars are what really add the “Massacre” to the name of the band. With fantastical lyrics on top of all this, hopefully fans of classic 80’s pop will discover something new and exciting with this band. I guarantee if you give it a chance, you won’t regret it.
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