Maroon Endorsed By Hate

In the scheme of the ever popular metalcore crossover trend, Maroon stands firmly in the realm of the mediocre. While possessing powerful, metal-oriented production that ups the heaviness considerably, the songwriting on display is passable at best. The bands formula consists of the standard European death/thrash riffage, balanced with predictable mosh parts that, while appropriately crushing, give the impression of they’ve been pulled off more effectively by countless others — especially in the last few years. The songs are poorly constructed, and the derivative nature of every hook and questionable industrial flourish work against them all that much more as a result. Any degree of catchiness or pedestrian enjoyment is weakened by the frequent homage to other, better artists. The vocals are bland, and do little to serve or hinder the band. In all honestly, Maroon's strongest points are beefy production and excellent use of effects that are occasionally included to make the group's less than smooth transitions and segues slightly less annoying. Additionally, the band has doubtlessly committed the most overt rip-off of all time by copying the opening section of Fear Factory's "Arise Above Oppression," note for note. The shotgun cocking sample (At the Gates, anyone?) doesn't help either. Strictly for desperate, desperate completists of the genre. (Abacus)