Mile – The World In Focus

Rating: 3.5/5
Distributor/label: Rambo Music
Distributor/label URL: http://www.rambomusic.se
Released: 2018
Buy Album [URL]: https://bandmile.bandcamp.com
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/bandmile/

Band line-up:

Masken – Vocals
Fredrik – Guitars/backup vocals
Dave Wallberg – Guitars/backup vocals
Niklas Tidholm – Bass
Dennis Kjellgren – Drums

Tracklisting:

1: Crying In Your Sleep
2: Why Won’t You (Die Motherf***er)
3: Sky Is Red
4: Can You Feel The Night
5: Burning
6: Fade Away
7: Sacrifice
8: Dressed In Black
9: When Time Goes By
10: We Stand Tall

Review

Mile are a Swedish metal/hard rock band, who were created in 2012 by the following ex members of Cabinett: Marcus ‘Masken’ Karlsson, who supplies the vocals, Fredrik Palm who is on guitars and Marcus ‘Folke’ who WAS on bass. The line-up was completed when drummer Dennis Kjellgren and guitarist David ‘Dave’ Wallberg joined. Before debuting on stage, the band rehearsed and wrote their music for a good year. Masken comments ‘(the band was) aware that with the immediacy of the times we live in and with the huge amount of metal bands that appear daily, the quality had to come first.’ In 2015, Niklas ‘Nike’ Tidaholm replaced bassist Marcus Folke and in the same year, their debut ‘Lost’ was released. It has been streamed more than one million times. In part because of the recent music video ‘Dressed in Black’, the ensemble has managed to keep its respectable reputation whilst working on their sophomore effort ’The World In Focus’.

The music here can often be compared to Metallica, during their groove metal phase. (Think ‘Outlaw Torn’ in terms of instrumentation and mood and ‘Sad But True’ in terms of power). In Flames style melodic death metal riffs get woven the mix, too. Because 7 strings are used for the ostinatos, they are particularly fearsome and hearing just muted notes lock in with the beats is rather satisfying. Guitar solos are short but sweet, are traditional-rocky in nature and sometimes have neoclassical ideas added. They aren’t too flashy, but they do give the music an added bit of variety, if little more than that. All of the above is good in that it’s a lot of fun, but not so good in that it’s largely lacking in originality. (Though the fusing of genres is cool). The way the musicians get the most out of their relatively basic ideas is quite impressive, however.

Furthermore, because the double pedal beats are limited to just the right spots, they don’t at all come across as ridiculously cliched and overused. Fear Factory and countless others use machine gun rhythms over and over and over again, but they seem to be particularly full and menacing, here. This is in part because of the polished (but not over-polished) production, which is mostly quite retro. However, some obviously more modern recording methods are thrown in occasion, which even bring to mind the very different Linkin Park. Sometimes the choruses are equally retro and are in the style of more classic hard rock, but other times they are more contemporary. This combination at least in part separates the band from many others. However, it would be nice to hear more interesting ideas than power chords being strummed in very predictable straight rhythms during these choruses, because there’s a lot of that kind of stuff.

Even so, don’t expect those modern hardcore kind of vocals where everything gets shouted in exactly the same way; the singer of Mile is skilled, much more unique and has a highly rich and (relatively) clean tone. Everyone seems to be skilled in fact, they just don’t have the need to keep telling everyone that. So, if you like unpretentious rock’n’roll that is heavy as hell, yet has an almost rare groove (especially in these days of computer modified production) I’m sure you will love this. There aren’t really any super classic riffs here, in the way that ‘Enter Sandman’ has classic riffs, but the same amount of power is there. Lastly, a lot of this album is pretty catchy and will probably grow on its listener with repeated listens. Therefore… give it a try!

Review by Simon Wiedemann
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