Artist: Pop Evil
For anyone familiar with the modern rock scene, Grand Rapids’ Pop Evil needs no introduction. They have toured with bands like Five Finger Death Punch, Trivium, Theory of a Deadman, Killswitch Engage and many more! Their sophomore album “War of Angels” was a massive success with their singles “Monster You Made” and “Boss’s Daughter” hitting #11 and #9 on the billboard charts, respectively. Their back and coming with heavy artillery for the follow-up to that album, “Onyx”. The debut single “Trenches” peaked out at #12 on the billboard charts and is probably one of the heaviest tracks on the album. “Onyx” is a dizzying mix of heavy guitars, gritty vocals, and melody like no other. I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect, as I wasn’t the biggest fan of “War of Angels”, I agree it was a great album but it just didn’t have the stay-power that “Lipstick on the Mirror” had. However, this new album is quite the opposite. I was incredibly impressed with it and I am honored to be able to review it.
“Goodbye My Friend”: The latest single and opening track to the album, this is by far one of my favorites, but that’s not what this is all about. This track is a perfect blend of aggression & angst. It is also a perfect example of the heavier direction that this band can take, not often do we hear screams from this band. However, about mid-way through, we hear a few from vocalist Leigh Kakaty, which are incredibly impressive. This track appears to be about either a betrayal or falling out and walking away from that person.
“Torn to Pieces”: In the ode to their softer songs like “100 in a 55” and “Monster You Made” we get a slower, more acoustically driven track. The vocals in this one are beautiful and the lyrics bring tears to your eyes. “I’m torn to pieces, I’m broken down. I still see your face when you’re not around. I sit here in misery, wondering if I’ll ever be, half the man you wanted me to be.” Leigh Kakaty sings with such angst in this song and you can hear every bit of emotion in every part of the song. Instrumentally, it’s melancholy, even the drums are sad and slow.
“Welcome to Reality”: This track is a really fun, heavier track. The lyrics seem to be about living in reality, when all you want to do is to live in fantasy. I can see this one being a crowd favorite, if they ever play it on tour. It’s got a really catchy and infectious chorus, as well as a great song flow and structure.
Final Thoughts: Everything has it’s place on this album and, whether you like it or not, Pop Evil has cemented themselves in history with some of the modern hard rock greats with this album. For not really knowing what to expect, I was incredibly pleased with the outcome of this album and I think they did an incredible job on every part. I do find it somewhat lacking somewhere, but I honestly can’t figure out just what it is. This album will definitely find itself in the hearts of millions of fans of all ages. Pick up your copy of “Onyx” on eOne Music on May 14th and find out for yourself what an amazing ride this album is!