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The Mourning After

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Album Review

New Jersey nu-metal quintet 40 Below Summer yields solid results by fusing aggression and allure on The Mourning After, its second long-player. The band had worked with veteran hard rock producer GGGarth Richardson for its 2001 debut, Invitation to the Dance, but — in a curious move — opted to align with Vertical Horizon overseer David Bendeth here. And while the band's forceful attack still won't land it in the pop survey, Bendeth's input does manage to give the band a foot up on other alternative metal acts in the run for airplay in the "active rock" format. "Self Medicate," the band's breakout hit, careens from brutality to affability, due largely in part to the amazing vocal range of Max Illidge, who turns from Drano-gargle utterances to soaring melodies on a dime. "Taxi Cab Confession" works this same dichotomy, also with likable consequences. Far more puzzling is "Breathless," which finds the outfit capably shifting into pop ballad mode à la Creed. That momentary lapse in direction is soon corrected, however, and as The Mourning After unfolds, tracks like the cathartic "F.E." and the spooky "A Season in Hell" right the wrongs for 40 Below Summer's ballooning headbanger clientele. ~ John D. Luerssen, Rovi

Biography

Formed: 1998 in New Jersey

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Coming from New Jersey, 40 Below Summer delivers a sole and surpassed aggressiveness on their edgy and heavy rock tunes, at the same time supporting it with an indubitable sense of melody. Adjoining puissant metal-style inflections and other fiery references, Summer follows the path of other new metal squads. Constituting in late 1998 in New Jersey, Summer first formed by the common initiative of drummer Carlos Aguilar, a Peruvian natural, and vocalist Max Illidge, after the two first met while playing...
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The Mourning After, 40 Below Summer
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