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Daniel Martin and The Infamous: The Pursuit of Heaviness
Heavy metal and theater are strange bedfellows, yet often intertwined. Billed as theatrical rock, Daniel Martin and The Infamous plays the part with a lively show and costumes that look like they were bought from Sanctuary, Edmonton’s much-loved and now-defunct goth empire. However, the visuals are enhanced by strong, melodic heavy rock music, showing that the band has content to back up the style. The mishmash of fashion and melodramatic metal is on full display in the band’s latest release, The Pursuit of Heaviness.
Daniel Martin and The Infamous pull off the same trick Evanescence has perfected by blending gothic, dark rock music with strong melodies and keyboard lines so your denim-clad cousin can headbang in the car as he takes his nephew to his Mamma Mia after-school rehearsal! The Pursuit of Heaviness, the band’s second album, rocks sufficiently and also beckons to a mist-shrouded monologue on a stage.
Stripped of their vocals, Daniel Martin and The Infamous could easily pass as a heavy rock band. Drums pound and guitars chug enough while keyboards float in and out, but when Martin sings, often supported by a trio of female vocalists, you hear the theatricality. He is no Ronnie James Dio, but sounds amply supported by the band.
The Pursuit of Heaviness begins with This is the Life, which sounds like a pirate ship, but with more black eyeliner than eye patches. Marilyn has a fun, crunchy guitar riff that owes a bit to Marilyn Manson’s Beautiful People, and Dancing in the Fire strikes a balance between pop-friendly rock and metal. If you’re wondering what happened to all the guitar solos in rock music today, Daniel Martin and crew stole and hoard riffs for this album, as each song drips in layers of guitars, with riffs pouring out like fake blood from a set. plastic vampire teeth.
But it’s not all whining and shredding: Eden is a duet with Amanda Kiernan, whose siren whistles sing about a relationship gone wrong, complete with a string section that underlines the heartbreak. Summer is also a funky acoustic tune, a welcome change from the “amps cranked to 11” guitar showdowns.
The band’s musicianship is top notch, as membership apparently fluctuated to eight members, each adding flair and building up the basic crunch. The songs are over-the-top and grandiose, which – depending on your tolerance level for showboating – can hinder or help your enjoyment of the album. You wonder how The Pursuit of Heaviness sounds on a stage full of visuals to play along with the songs. At best, The Pursuit of Heaviness plays like a live album by other theatrical goth rock crazies like Rob Zombie or Alice Cooper, allowing the listener to conjure up tales of macabre and broken romances to match the music.
Daniel Martin and The Infamous will play an album release party for The Pursuit of Heaviness on September 24 at the Rec Room South. Find ticket info here.
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