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Five Hundredth Year shows potential on new album, needs more unique energy

Michigan-based hard rock/heavy metal band similar to Breaking Benjamin, Five Finger Death Punch

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When it comes to bands like Breaking Benjamin, Three Days Grace, Five Finger Death Punch, or Five Hundredth Year, my initial reaction usually is “well, I’ve heard this before, what is this band going to do to separate itself from the others?”

It’s not that the particular sound that hovers in a realm between heavy metal and hard rock is unenjoyable, it’s just that it’s a well-traveled type of music that if you’ve listened to any bands in this genre, you’ve heard quite a bit before.

On Five Hundredth Year’s new album “A Rose From Ashes,” they do sound a lot like other similar bands, but they do have several unique sounds meshed in with the usual sounds.

The songs with bassist Brenda Bennett providing backup vocals gives the songs a much needed contrast in vocals, particularly. That’s one area where the band does a pretty decent job of separating itself, in fact. There’s a melodic voice, a growl-y scream-like voice and then the female voice on several tracks, too.

Promo Photo 3(1)This is most apparent on “Breaking Point.” The guitars, the drums, the bass-line all are rather plain, however the chanting before the guitar solo, though, along with the sprinkling of Bennett’s vocals is a nice twist. The solo, too, has an eerie sound that gets into your head. It’s a little too short for my liking, but, it gets the job done well enough.

These guys feel like one of those bands that do just enough to show that they have some musical magic up their sleeves, but it’s never quite enough to wow me, unfortunately.

For instance, on the song “Violent Descent,” there are moments where the guitars let loose and rock you hard in a way that had me thinking, “yeah, all right, this is the good shit here.” But, it’s only for a few fleeting moments. The rest of the song is quite good, and in fact it might be the best one on the album. It’s just not my cup of tea. I also legitimately enjoyed the melody in “Talking Body” some, too.

The opening track, “Awake in Silence,” feels like the most put-together track on the album. The melody flows through the bass and guitars, and everything is nicely in sync with one another. It probably could’ve used a massive solo to plant it’s metal roots deeper, but not having one doesn’t make the track less enjoyable.

This Michigan-based band formed in 2013. They started recording their demo last winter and started receiving considerable airplay on a variety of radio stations across Michigan. They’ve also opened for bands such as Mushroom Head, Gwar and Corrosion of Conformity, among others.

Knowing that they’re still a relatively new band, I’m interested in keeping tabs on how they progress as they continue to evolve. Those moments of excellence exhibited here may translate into further greatness in the future. For the time being, though, they still have some work left to do in my mind to find more ways to separate themselves from the pack.

For more on Five Hundredth Year, find them on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Editor's Rating

6.0
The Michigan band Five Hundredth Year's "A Rose From Ashes," features some heavy guitar licks, pulsating bass lines and a variety of vocal styles. It straddles the line between both hard rock and heavy metal.
0 User ratings
6.0

PROS

Having three distinct vocal styles makes for some good contrasting sounds throughout the album. Some of the guitar solos will rock you pretty hard as well.

CONS

They sound a lot like other bands in the same genre. They're talented enough, and show moments of uniqueness, but not quite enough to really put them into the "great" category yet.
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