Subliminal Fear – Escape from Leviathan (Review)

Subliminal FearThis is the third album from Subliminal Fear, an Italian metal band.

This is modern metal that takes its primary influences from a combination of the cybermetal styles, (Fear Factory, Mnemic), and melodic groove metal, (Soilwork, In Flames, etc.), alongside a pinch of djent and industrial.

With this in mind, the band operate in the more commercial realm of the style, rather than on the heavier end as some bands do when incorporating these influences, (for the most part at least; that’s not to say the band can’t be heavy or more extreme when they want to). The songs work well in this context though, with the band’s clean vocal harmonies being a particularly strong asset of theirs.

Keyboard/synth/electronic enhancements add a significant extra layer to the band’s sound, frequently taking things to that next level that is sometimes required. This extra atmosphere is very effective, especially when things get quite orchestral and grand.

The songs are quite nicely formed, with quite a lot of catchy and memorable parts. It’s groovy and modern, as you would expect, but it’s obvious that the band have put thought into what they’re doing. It’s not pop-metal-by-numbers by any means.

The band have two vocalists, resulting in a combination of clean and harsh vocals, depending on the needs of the song. As alluded to previously, the singer providing the clean vocals seems particularly talented, and his voice is one of the highlights of this release for me. The harsh vocals are fine, but, if I’m honest, most of the time when they’re shouting along I’m just waiting for the cleans to come back in. I think the harsh vocals are at their best when supporting the cleans, rather than being the focus in their own right.

The album also features guests from bands such as Mnemic, Threat Signal and Darkane, further adding to its plus points.

Like the recent albums from The Unguided and 3rd Machine, I really enjoyed this. Subliminal Fear push things even more into stadium-friendly territories than some that play similar styles, but, (contrary to my usual tastes), I find that on Escape from Leviathan this really, really works well for the band. The very enticing and more-ish cleans and huge melodies are infectious, and this is definitely a band to watch out for.

Very impressive.

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