Saturday, June 20, 2015



Recorded and produced by band-member April Hutchins at Muffin Studios in Montreal, Quebec, "Solace" is the second full-length recording from Canada's Mellevon. It was released at the tail end of 2014 and this fourteen track album serves as the follow-up to the group's 2013 debut album, "Chaos Reigns". With a run-time that is over the fifty minute mark(!), "Solace" features two (short) instrumental numbers in "A Song for the Setting Sun" and the album's title track and this new recording finds Mellevon sporting a new look. One-time (harsh) vocalist Gabriel Tulli has been replaced by Red Skull and new drummer Colin MacAndrew (The Wild Hunt) takes over for the departed Jermeel Chase. As for everyone else? Well, seeing as she is responsible for most of the music and lyrics on "Solace" (as well as the album's concrete production job) special props should go to guitarist April Hutchins. As one of the original members of this Montreal-based band, April Hutchins excels in each department that she has a hand in (musician, songwriter and producer) and on "Solace" her guitar playing is absolutely sick! While this five-piece band (reportedly) started out as a Industrial/Nu-metal act you'd never know that by April's performances on "Solace" as her work is well-drawn out and meticulous in it's complexity! Even so her riffs are crisp and sharp and when stacked up against the jagged nature of some of this album's material they offer up a glorious wall of sound! April's guitar skills are the album's true highlight and they help make each and every track on "Solace" somewhat different. For the album's full line-up (and to see the guest list for "Solace") be sure to check below this review. Otherwise we're looking at a one-time(?) Industrial/Nu-metal band that has apparently turned the corner and is now (more or less) a hybrid/modern metal band. Sure, there's still a bit of industrial metal going on here, but it's been maxed out by way of melodic death metal (hence the band's own Industrial Melodic Death Metal tag) and a long-list of sub-genres that range from dark metal to goth metal to even (light) symphonic metal! The album's cool mash-up of styles helps make for a more interesting listening experience all-around. And for the most part so do the clean and harsh vocals. I might have sorted out the harsh vocals a tad more (maybe it's the mix, but from time to time the death metal growls sound....well, off kilter I guess), but they are good all the same. And that really goes for each member/part of Mellevon. Everyone does their thing and they do it well. But, if I had to pick one other thing that stood out about Mellevon's latest (besides the stellar guitar parts that rule on "Solace"!) it would be the keyboards. They come courtesy of Chel Vorsteher and they help give "Solace" a nice after-shine. They range from classy to somewhat electronic and they add that extra exclamation point to the whole affair! All in all I found "Solace" to be a solid listening experience. As with a lot of up-and-coming bands these days there are a few things that could be touched-up, but overall this is a good band that sure sounds as if they could be REALLY good in no time at all. Even if you don't pick up Mellevon's latest album I'd sure as hell keep an eye on them as this is one Canadian band that has "HUGE POTENTIAL" written all over them!!!!

Mellevon is:
Red Skull: Lead vocals, clean vocals
April Hutchins: Guitars, vocals and spoken word .
Chel Vorsteher: Keyboards, clean vocals .
Stefan Guaiani: Bass, harsh vocals .
Colin MacAndrew : Drums, harsh vocals

Guest Performers:
Björn Strid (Soilwork): Vocals on "The Quiet Light".
Les Godfrey (ex-Tchort, ex-The Illuminati): Guitar solo on "Under Moss".
Kyle Lapointe (The Renaissance Men): Spoken word intro on "Sonically Transmitted Dysphoria".
Melanie Hutchins: Vocal harmonies on "Left Behind".

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