Listening to The Birthday Massacre, I’m reminded of all the elements that make up a truly alternative metal band. Intense beats, roving guitar riffs, lyrics that are more often mad than sane and that special something that’s going to bring a flavour of palatable weirdness to the whole concoction. Birthday Massacre have been an online success story, promoting themselves intensely over the internet since their conception in 1999, which has resulted in a slow burning success that has created a very set style of metal music. Basically, the band have long since found their niche in this alternative music industry: mixing accessible metal/ rock sound with electronica and lyrics that are filled with themes of madness, and they’ve stuck with it.
Hide And Seek is an album that has more of what fans of The Birthday Massacre adore, plus some new intensity that I absolutely adored. Available now on The Birthday Massacre website and iTunes, if you want to try a new kind of metal that has electronica elements then this is the band to try out. I have a soft spot for bands with female vocalists and the lead singer “Chibi” has an excellent voice that can turn melodic and full of rage. I think she’s been experimenting more with her angry lyrics that don’t wander into screaming vocals but instead carry a grating force that contrasts will with her usual melodic voice. That said, The Birthday Massacre lean far more towards a dreamy and delusional overall sound, so those of you that want some rage may be disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, the intense beats of their songs are amazing to listen to but, like the band itself, it’s a slow burning rage rather than the claustrophobic cacophony that you get with other metal music.
If you don’t mind The Birthday Massacre but find their music very same-y then Hide And Seek is probably not going to interest you that much. However, if you’re in love with their sound then get ready because this new album has everything you love about The Birthday Massacre in abundance. One of my favourite tracks has to be “Down”, which creates an amazing dreamy feel with the chorus but has a bridge featuring Chibi’s angrier vocals. Some of the other tracks are slow and at times repetitive, such as “Play With Fire”, which literally has the lyrics “We will play with fire” repeated over and over again as the chorus but for the most part this is a rocky album that has a hint of the enigmatic with their synthesised backings.
As a relatively new fan to The Birthday Massacre, I loved Hide And Seek and all my favourite stylings of this metal band. Accessible but still intense, some people may find the synthesisers date the music or detract from the metal sound but they certainly have enough fans that support them. A band that is utterly comfortable with their own sound and is enjoyably developing it rather than testing the waters with something out of their range, which is something many bands have tried and failed at rather than becoming the master of their own niche. I for one am more than content with Hide And Seek but I can understand that some people may not find much passion with an album that breaks so little new ground.