Creating their own distinct merger of dark and light alternative metal fuelled sound, Italian band PTSD has all the attributes to become a well-spoken name especially if their new album A Sense Of Decay is the template they will build upon. Though it lacks the spark to truly stand it apart from other equally capable alternative metal bands it suggests it is a mere step towards that horizon for the band, and leaves a rich vein of promise in its enjoyable and accomplished wake.
Formed in 2005, PTSD (standing for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) grabbed strong attention with debut album Burepolom, its varied ideas and flavours taken further by its successor, a release which lit a keen appetite in their homeland and further afield with its following worldwide release via My Kingdom Music. The success of the album led to three songs being included in the soundtrack of the Dark Vision Films movie Am I Evil, its director Richard Terrasi becoming a fan through the release. A successful European tour with Ever Grey came next for the Grottammare quintet before starting work on A Sense Of Decay. The band pulled in the might of drummer Marco Minneman (Kreator, Necrophagist, Ephel Duath) as we’ll as having Jim Caruana, a Grammy, Golden Globe, and Academy Award winner, mix and master the release. The result is a record which offers impressive songs wrapped in skill and melodic majesty and though arguably it fails to reach its full potential, it easily sets up eager appetite for the band and a potent satisfaction now.
Soon proven by the first few tracks alone, the album is a mix of varied flames fusing the likes of nu-metal, indie, industrial metal, and melodic rock to its alternative core, the opener Event Horizon spreading electro arms to welcome the ear. As the electronic elements seduce and sway the senses crunchy riffs and striking rhythms add their lure beside the impressive melodic tones of vocalist Henry Guy. It is a compelling and contagious mix which though familiar in many ways has an edge and breath which leaves a lingering individual impression. The guitars of Yorga and Jason craft acute sonic colours across the face of the song to further its temptation whilst the infectiousness of the chorus and incendiary harmonies is a final irresistible temptation.
From the great start the following A Reason To Die and Parasomnia seize the ear with equally passionate sculpted bodies, if also less able to trigger raging fires for their undoubted quality. Like with the opener, the first of the pair reminds at times of Stone Temple Pilots and Tool and grab the emotions with intense emotive intrigue whilst the second unleashes a snarl to the riffs and hunger from the bass of Rob Star which intimidates and pulls on the passions. The accompanying excellent melodic blaze unfortunately reduces the aggressive challenge too much to make the song as effective and commanding as it could have been but despite that the track ensnares strong greed.
After Staring The Stormwall, a song it is hard to criticise but just does not raise a flicker of energy in the emotions towards its warm pastures, the album hits with another gem in the predatory Suicide Attitude. The track has a mesmeric call within its squalling aggressive winds and this time the fusion of peace and spite is a richly invigorating reward with bruising intensity and gothic elegance forming an enthralling treaty for a fully absorbing enterprise.
The likes of the pleasing title track and the tempestuous driven Breathless continue to keep the album centred within full focus, if again they seem to fall short of the promise they offer with the songs throughout feeling like they are itching to stretch their walls and extremes but are held back. The imagination and craft they equally declare though keeps any thought of moving on from their embrace a remote option and provides a richness of satisfaction which makes the band still a very interesting proposition, especially when enforced by a song like By A Thread. The best track on the album by far, the song gnaws and seduces the senses, the scowling guttural additional vocals and rapacious riffs making a corrosive wash within which the ever impressive vocals and stirring harmonies dance and weave with passionate beauty. The track also twists its gait and venture into a haunting and menacing detour, an aside which triggers thoughts and fears before expelling a climax of exhausting and scintillating fury. It is a thrilling track and a direction you can only hope the band explore further as it is no coincidence that the strongest moments upon the album come when the band unleash spite and venomous creativity.
The album also includes a cover of the Anastacia song Heavy On My Heart which is a fine effort but does not really do much for the album itself though it does introduce new drummer Marco Lancs, as well as a more than decent remix of Event Horizon by Forgotten Sunrise. In between the two there is the impressive ……If?, which makes another pleasing call dripping with pure promise. A Sense Of Decay is an album to find much to relish in and deserves a full investigation from any melodic metal/rock fan. It is debatable if it will set any fires burning inside but certainly will place PTSD as a band most likely to in the future.
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from