A long overdue return that continues the trend
Four years after releasing their overwhelmingly well received second full-length album Blood Oath in 2003, Melbourne based metal outfit Frankenbok return with their long awaited third album Murder Of Songs, which is their first for Perth based independent label Prime Cuts Music after parting ways with Roadrunner Records. Recorded well before their recent line-up reshuffle, which saw vocalist Adam B. Metal (Who parted ways with the band in early 2007 to concentrate on his own outfit The Departed) and guitarist Scott Lang (Who decided to pursue his chosen profession in Hong Kong) being replaced by ex-Block/McDougall Brothers/Repugnance vocalist Daniel McDougall and Headmess/4Arm/Embodied guitarist Nathan 'Yeti' Amatnieks alongside guitarist Aaron Butler, bassist/keyboardist Tim Miedecke and drummer Mick Morley, Murder Of Songs once again sees Frankenbok build upon the strong foundation that laid out with their previous release, with the ten tracks showing a further growth and sense of maturity throughout.
The aggression and drive of Worship Before The Dead and The Meltdown are somewhat reminiscent of the direction and sound that Frankenbok presented on their Blood Oath release to some extent, while Walk This Lie(fe), As It Comes Down On You and Down To The Wire all prove to be songs with huge radio potential with chorus structures that are as every bit as much memorable as What Is Real?, without forsaking the obviously heavy direction Frankenbok have decided to head into with Murder Of Songs.
In regards to weaker moments, Triumph is the only song on the album that tends to fit the bill, with the guitars sounding a little thin in places (Although on a song basis, it's still quite a strong effort), but any shortcomings of the former track are swept aside with slower and epic sounding closer Sludge (I Will Take / Make These Horizons).
On the surface, there's not a real lot of difference between Blood Oath and Murder Of Songs, but if you dig a little under the surface of Murder Of Songs, small subtle differences like heaviness, a refinement of chorus structures and the careful consolidation of fully developed ideas in regards to overall song structures (Especially within the riffs) do stand out as proof of progression within the band, and help make Murder Of Songs more than just another album to follow up their last release.
(Prime Cuts Music/M.G.M. Distribution)