Blood & Batteries Salient

Blood & Batteries are talented musicians, this is easily discernable from the arrangements and melodies present on their debut album Salient — they can write catchy, interesting synth-driven gothic rock songs. So why Salient doesn’t quite work isn’t due to the musicianship, it’s something else. Most notably, there is a heavy reliance on distorted vocals, which are so laden with effects on some tracks that the lyrics get lost in the manipulation. It would be interesting to hear driving cuts like "Sarcasm” with less vocal tinkering as it seems there might genuinely be a freaking great song hidden under there. The engineer on this project also should have caught the few instances where vocalist Rik Ahern’s voice drifts out of tune — these things are unavoidable in a recording session but should have never made it through the mix and onto the album. Salient sounds a lot like a goth rock/metal band striving to find their musical voice, and seeing as this is their first release, that is both expected and forgivable to a certain extent. They certainly have the talent to grow and impress with future offerings, there is no doubting that, but it really seems like they just need the right studio team to understand, compliment and shape their musical direction. (Independent)