Admittedly, I’m not the biggest Pop Evil fan. In fact, the only reason I have their earlier albums is someone gave them to me. When I listened to each one, I was pretty much just “meh” on them. Until now…
I don’t know who got to these guys and showed them the way, but new album Onyx is better than the first three albums combined! The song structure is better, and the vocals aren’t over the top, something that really plagued their earlier works.
Opener “Goodbye My Friend” starts with a bass intro, then builds into one of the better leadoff songs I’ve heard this year, before “Deal With the Devil” takes that ball and runs it into the musical endzone for arguably the best track on this record.
Single “Trenches” and ballad “Torn To Pieces” really didn’t do anything for me, and kind of halt the momentum. Then the double-tap of “Divide” and “Beautiful” gets things back on track before slowing down again for “Silence & Scars”, which is a pretty nice song.
“Sick Sense” and “Welcome To reality” are two more “meh” songs that I could give or take, but another real gem here is “Behind Closed Doors”. It starts slow, almost like something from a suspenseful movie scene, then kicks into high gear and is definitely another standout.
“Fly Away” is a solid rocker, and album closer “Flawed” ends things on a high, hard, and heavy note. Another favorite. For most of this disc I can’t believe this is the same band. Other times, I’m like, “Yep. There it is…why I never caught on to them.” Overall though, it’s a very good effort from a band who seems to be showing a marked improvement.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Goodbye My Friend”, “Deal With the Devil”, “Divide”, “Beautiful”, “Behind Closed Doors”, “Flawed”