Sign a record deal with Sony Music Entertainment, they said. It would be fun, they said. A 1.8 million dollar recording contract for five albums with one of the largest music industry conglomerates in the world is enough to have any average Joe frothing furiously at the mouth at the mere mention of such a deal, let alone a trio of eleven and twelve year olds.
Taking the GIGsoup time machine all the way back to 2013, three boys from Brooklyn took over the streets of New York banging out hard-hitting note-perfect heavy metal covers like they were thirty-something session musicians signing away their future to the streets they strived to beat. In a world obsessed with likes, dislikes, and comments, the trio soon went as viral as the angry German kid and quite quickly, all hell broke loose. Within a matter of months, these kids from the streets are the latest Sony Music signing and they’re as ready as ever to rock.
Only, they didn’t. They broke away from their contract with Sony without ever releasing any music under the conglomerate whatsoever and if they had, it would’ve been Brooklyn’s version of BabyMetal. Saving us from World War Three, they hid away in the dark depths of metal’s gone and forgotten lost and never found pile, quietly waiting for the moment that may never come: they go viral again.
In one of the year’s quietest releases from one of the world’s loudest new bands, Brooklyn’s Unlocking The Truth unlock their own demons and take them to task in their debut album, ‘Chaos’. If this review were to be one simple sentence, it would read somethinglike this: Am I listening to Bullet For My Valentine circa ‘The Poison’?
Breakdowns? Check. Traditional riff-heavy, bass-pounding, drum-bashing intros? Check. Echoed screams? Check. Mosh-ready arena-friendly choruses? Check. ‘Chaos’ is to Unlocking The Truth what ‘The Poison’ was to Bullet For My Valentine – only the former unleashed it upon the world before it was a been-there, done-that, got-the-t-shirt kind of genre. It’s not that the songs are bad – opening trio ‘Chaos’, ‘Monster’, and ‘A Tide’ are all equal to the level of work their Welsh idols were churning out back in the day – it’s just that they’re a tad too far on the safe side of the net. With a name like Unlocking The Truth, you’d expect them to go above and beyond the call of duty on this one, yet the final product reminds us tragically that its curators are still in their teens and not quite ready to take the metalworld by the storm it so longs to be sucked into.
Middling tracks ‘Other Side’, ‘Numbing’, and ‘Made Of Stone’ are cymbal-tapping, drum-focused beatdowns with a penchant for clean and harsh vocal harmonies firing on all cylinders – on paper it’s a work of art, however on the ears it’s a piece of the past, a reminder that metalcore’s best days are well and truly behind us.
Whilst ‘Chaos’ truly is a work of the past, there are some neatly tucked away diamonds in the rough within this collection, from the arena-ready chant-a-long chorus of ‘Monster’ – “I am a monster/I am monster/I am a monster/ that’s what you told me baby” – to the hit-and-run fuck-shit-up fight-me feel of ‘Ravens’.
‘Chaos’ may not be the just desserts Unlocking The Truth wished to serve Sony Musicwith but it is a fruitful after-dinner nod to the music that came before it in the shape of a trio of Brooklyn boys who’ve survived the perils of the industry they long to be a part of.