Nobody Lives Forever
Cradle Bay

As the intro “I” and a song called “Wounds, Bloodstains and Richochets” scrolled across my iPod and well produced, synth driven metalcore/melodic death metal thundered into my ears, I wondered to myself, “Wow, Bleeding Through have another album out already? Didn’t they release their self tilted album earlier this year?” Then I began to notice subtle things like some deeper death metal vocals,  slightly off drumming, some weak clean singing and the lack of a hot keyboard player showing her boobies …. And then it dawned on me that I might not be listening to Bleeding Through at all…

Seriously, I really thought this was Bleeding Through, but then gave the whole album a listen, and it’s clear these guys are not Bleeding Through ― they aren’t as good!

No doubt directed at the Sonic Syndicate/Bleeding Through/Winds of Plague/Parkway Drive/Loren Battle crowd―overly flowery keyboards to some forced element of death metal and such―the fact is even with some stern riffs and enjoyable cross genre tinkling, Buffalo’s Nobody Lives Forever need some work. Even with a heavy media/press push, Nobody Lives Forever just seem a formulized, canned product directed at a specific target audience with no concern for the quality of the product; sloppy drumming, weak singing and a complete lack of identify.

It’s not that I intensely dislike Cradle Bay as I really don’t. There are some decent well produced, Bleeding Through-ish moments (if you like that sort of thing), such as the aforementioned opener “Eat Your Weight”, “Cradle Bay” and an epic 7-minute closure “Shadow of the Gunman”. For the most part, however, the whole efforts seems quickly slapped together and thrown out to the Hot Topic -masses before the fad dies. Throw in some more commercial, cringe inducing moments (“Pain and Wastings”, “Hide and Die”, “Borden Road”) here and there which cement all the possible upsides to this tragedy. The whole effort seems made for easy digestion and consumption to the brainless masses, as if the whole thing was a band thrown together part of some reality TV-show.

It’s a shame because there is some energy (drumming/clean singing not withstanding) as the guys seem like solid musicians and despite all the flak, somewhat hard workers. Vocalist John Paul Fitzgerald has an impressive bellow (but again those clean vocals! Ugh!) and there are some good riffs and blasts here and there. It’s just that there’s no escaping the overarching sense of quickly marketable fluff that permeates the whole thing. You can almost hear the folks at EMI telling some execs: “OK! We need brutal death metal vocals, some singing and some orchestral synths and a single or two! GO!” and they went and slapped together a few semi-experienced,  competent guys from locally popular but respectably obscure NY bands like Spun, Thoughts Lost and Doctrine of Man. But hey! There’s at least one positive that triumphs: there are no autotuned vocals or dance beats!

The kid with an extra $10 bucks in his pocket to burn at the mall will be all over this. The discerning, less easily swayed metal-fan who hates trends, scenes and fads might want to avoid this.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
October 14th, 2010

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