Seasons After - Through Tomorrow Review
Posted by Dan Marsicano on 03.28.2010
The hard rock/metal band Seasons After recently released their debut album Through Tomorrow. Fans of Killswitch Engage and Sevendust will eat it up, but does it have enough appeal to win over those who enjoy the more melodic side of rock music?
Chris Schlichting- Vocals
James Beattie- Guitar/Backing Vocals
Chris Dawson- Guitar
Michael Byers- Bass/Backing Vocals
Tim Rails- Drums
The Track Listing
1. Some Things Burn (4:43)
2. Through Tomorrow (5:21)
3. On Your Own (4:40)
4. 11:11 (3:43)
5. Marked (3:37)
6. Hell Is… (5:44)
7. Save You (3:00)
8. The Knife (3:45)
9. Let Go (3:52)
10. Cry Little Sister (4:03)
11. The Worst Parts (4:19)
12. Cry Little Sister (Acoustic) (4:08)
Seasons After has been compared to everybody from Killswitch Engage to Bullet For My Valentine. For some, mentioning those two bands alongside Seasons After will materialize images of breakdowns, harsh/clean vocal contrast, and an innate ability to make even the most metal riffs in the world sound incredibly tame. It doesn’t help the band that their first single is “Cry Little Sister,” a cover of the Gerard McMann song from the 1987 movie soundtrack to “The Lost Boys.” That can cast a shadow on even the best rock bands (i.e. Alien Ant Farm), but Seasons After is not a one-trick pony. Their debut Through Tomorrow avoids any negative impulses that could form with all these elements factored in.
Their sound definitely has that aggressive spark to win over the people who like their music with a side order of heaviness; however, the hooky choruses and three-part vocal harmonies avoid turning this spark into an uncontrollable wildfire that would turn away the mainstream audience. The two sides of the band share equal space on the album, taking the listener on a journey that seems familiar, but has a few new turns in the beaten path.
An angry howl opens up “Some Things Burn,” an explosive way to introduce the band to the masses. It packs both sides of the band into a compact four-and-a-half minutes, complete with a sensational breakdown and crisp vocals. The title track takes the album in a more epic direction with a middle-eastern inspired intro and subtle lead guitar work deep in the background, something that may not be immediately apparent on the first play through.
The album lumbers along in the first half, but picks up momentum starting with the centerpiece “Hell Is…” A brooding acoustic intro gives off an uneasy feeling that doesn’t go away quickly. In a sudden motion, the song hits with a speedy riff like a karate chop to the throat, leaving the listener momentarily breathless. “Save You” continues to deliver a quick pummeling that is seemingly out-of-left field and this goes on straight through until the heaviest song on the album, “The Worst Parts.” The harsh vocals take center stage; all three vocal lines are utilized to yell, growl, and scream about the end of the world.
For an album with a constant threat of looming darkness, the lyrics are refreshingly positive. While destruction and frustration do have its place on Through Tomorrow, an upbeat and hopeful tone takes precedence on the title track and “Hell Is…” Most bands these days tend to stick with the heartache/hatred/contempt for everything approach to lyrics, so it’s nice to hear a band straying away from those themes and injecting a slightly positive outlook on life.
Some may notice that “Cry Little Sister” hasn’t been mentioned much so far. That’s because it’s a solid cover and nothing more; definitely nothing exciting, considering that Seattle rockers Aiden did a similar-sounding cover only a few years ago (ironically, that was for the soundtrack to the sequel film “Lost Boys: The Tribe”). The acoustic version, on the other hand, is surprisingly effective. What could have turned into a cheesy sing-along instead becomes a moody, downbeat number that retains the atmosphere of the McMann version.
Through Tomorrow is a great debut album that actually gets better after repeated listens. The songwriting starts to stick, the infectious choruses become stuck in the head, and a few hidden quirks are brought to light. Seasons After doesn’t create something fresh and innovative with their first album, but everything that they do seems like a prelude to what is to come in the future. Through Tomorrow has the potential to light up the limp mainstream rock/metal scene with its combination of melodic, fist-pumping choruses and sharp riffs.
The 411: Through Tomorrow is a thrilling debut for Seasons After that balances the heavier and lighter moments perfectly. A few songs blend together near the end, but the brilliant acoustic version of "Cry Little Sister" ends the album on a bright note. The album has a few potential hit singles that could win over a large audience, while their more aggressive side will bring in those that tend to view modern rock radio with contempt.