Last month, when I was doing my homework to write about the Metal Guesthouse festival, I came across this band, Madleaf, and I started to listen to their debut album Sinners, which was released on 2012. After a couple of hearings, I was blown away by the fact that there can be such awesome music inside your little country and you may never find out! Thank god for Metal Guesthouse… So now that I am one sweet album wiser and also because Madleaf are ready to release their second LP (and have made this nice little lyric video for the first single), I want to write about their debut.
When a band is blatantly copying another band, I will be the first to shout it, believe me. Also, when a singer is an exact copy of another singer and the vocal lines he puts in his music are the exact things you ‘d expect from the copyee, thats a major turnoff for me. But what happens when the singer is the perfect combination of two of your favorite singers of all time and at the same time you feel that all of his ideas and vocal tricks are so genuine and original that when you hear his music you get the impression that Chris Cornell and Eddie Vedder simultaneously sing something you have never heard from them? That is putting that voice into good use boy!
Of course the singing would be nothing without the appropriate musical background. I am talking about background because, although I strongly believe that, especially in the rock-metal genre, the voice is just another instrument and shouldn’t be viewed necessarily as the focal point of the music, in this case, the structure of Madleaf songs is designed to make everything work around that beautiful voice. And they should, because everything works perfectly.
From the haunting riffs of the first two tracks, ‘Sinners’ and ‘Wave Girl’ and the claustrophobic feel the rythm section is creating in ‘The age of reason’ to the upbeat, headbanging-inducing ‘Feed Me’, the music creates the perfect mood for Nick Marinos’ voice to take the listener away to a mezmerizing trip down the grunge nostalgia. And even though, as you can I tell, I am deeply impressed with the singing on this album, the true proof that the instrumental part of this band is equally impressive is the fact that one of the highlights of Sinners is the instrumental track ‘Bliss’ and its truly otherworldly melodies.
And of course I have already expressed before my love for ‘Under my head’, which somehow with its powerful dynamics and the vocal dominance reminds me in a strange way of Alter Bridge.