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DownTheory: Invisible Empire

Publisher: Spectra Records

Lately, it seems like there is a huge influx of rock bands that all sounds pretty similar. DownTheory is one such band comprised of Scott King on drums, Nick Lee singing, H.M. Hall on guitar, and Derrick Gilrie on bass. Their sound is very similar to 12 Stones, Fuel or Rise Against. Considering that there are so many bands that sound the same, to really make it, a band needs to figure out how to make themselves stand out from the crowds.

When you first start playing the Invisible Empire CD, you'll notice that DownTheory has a clean, smooth sound that is pleasant on the ears both musically and vocally. The first song, "Distance" is fast and has a catchy tune. The chorus can get stuck in your head pretty quickly actually. It is followed by a song called "Defiant" which sounds quite a bit like "Distance," so much so that they blend together to me. I really like the third song, "Farewell." The tempo and music sound similar to the first two, but the lyrics stood out more to me. It also picks up and gets a bit heavier at the end. Next is "Fascination Street" and I'm not real sure I liked it, although I can't really blame DownTheory, since it's a cover of The Cure's song. But since I was never a fan of The Cure, that's fine. For me, I just wasn't too crazy about the choice for a cover song. One of the next few songs is called "Little Things." Personally, I found a lot of meaning in it. It's about a relationship that is obviously falling apart because of the little things that were promised, but never appeared. Anyone who's been through something like this will immediately appreciate the feeling and emotions that are put into "Little Things." As the CD keeps going, the tempo of the songs slows down and they get a lot softer and slower. On "One Way," I was really impressed with how well Nick Lee can control his vocal range and soften his sound without losing any quality. "Someday" is right after "One Way." "Someday" is a slow but upbeat song encouraging listeners to just push on through life because even when things look bad, someday they'll be better. It is a very uplifting song guaranteed to try and improve your life outlook.

In conclusion, DownTheory: Invisible Empire is a good first album. They have a pleasant sound, mostly upbeat music, and a typical rock-star look. The music is real and emotional, but avoids being emo or popish. If they want to stay around though, they're going to need to do a bit more to find something that will distinguish their music from the rest of the choices that people have to listen to. You can listen to clips of their songs on their really well done website. If you're a fan of rock, check out DownTheory today and see what you think for yourself.

-Cyn, GameVortex Communications
AKA Sara Earl

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