The Love Load – Metal Mothman
The Love Load, a Washington D.C.-based trio metal band, recently released a new album titled, “Metal Mothman”. This EP consists of five tracks, all with a similar style. This band specializes in bringing back the age of metal in this album by featuring shredding guitar, bass, and drums on rhythm tracks recorded live. Band members include Ted Watts (bass, vox), Ben Azzara (drummer) and Blaine Misner, guitar (backing vox).
This entire album tells about the legend of the mothman and the horrified residents of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, as well as the tragic collapse of the Silver Bridge in 1967. Despite the dark subject matter of the songs, the listener can easily tell that the band also wants to make light of the situation through the use of humorous vocals. In my opinion, the combination of instrumentation and vocals are what either make or break this track, according to your point of view as a listener.
If you are into serious, strong, screaming in your face metallic vocals, this is not the album for you. For example, in the intro track, the lead singer is merely talking about the legend of the mothman. In The Bridge, the vocals are transposed to a lower key to give the narration a more ominous feel. The downside to this choice in vocals is that they often conflict and overshadow the metallic, fast paced nature of the instrumentation. For some people this might not be a huge issue, but for me as a listener, I want to hear the entire track flow together with ease and not have to concentrate on slow vocals and fast instrumentation at the same time.
In the “Tower of Babbling Arrows”, the lead singer does sing at a fast pace, matching the tempo of the electric guitars and drums. Still, the vocal tone and lyrics seem a bit off for someone who is expecting to hear a powerful, grimy vocal typical of most metal music. For example, there is mention of a butterfly. I will admit that this made me laugh, but I am not exactly sure if this reaction the intended feel that The Love Load were going for when they made this album. For me, the best track on this album is “The TNT Plant”, mostly because of the cool FX effects and electric guitar riffs reminiscent of the era of rock n’ roll.
How would I improve this album? From a listener’s perspective, this album sometimes gets confusing in the sense that vocals are placed at sporadic parts of the song. This takes away from the energy of the instrumentation. I think that the story-telling style is fine to use but only when done properly. For example, each song could have a short forty second to one minute intro where the guitars and drums start out a slower pace. After this point, the tempo of the instruments and vocals can speed up to match the pace of what listeners usually expect out of metal songs. Overall, I feel that this album’s subject matter has the basis for a good story, but The Love Load needs to figure out how to present this story in a more fluent, musical manner.