~reviewed by Eric Rasmussen
To/Die/For is yet another goth metal band, and, more than the countless others, a band that I have some trouble listening to. However, this isn't entirely a bad thing depending on your perspective. Jaded certainly stands out over most goth metal CDs, in that its melodies have a distinctly 80's flavor. The 80's influence on To/Die/For's latest output is so pervasive that I've decided to dub them Goth Bon Jovi - mainly for the chorus on track 3, "Too much ain't enough! Whooaaaahhh oooh oohhh ohhhh!" (And yes, I realize my inability to sing is noticeable even in text).
So, if you think a gothic metal Bon Jovi sounds cool, you'll feel right at home with Jaded. Oddly, although the melodies are clearly 80's, almost nothing else is. The singing is in traditional nasally goth style with occasionally hostile variations, backed by melodic keyboards and guitars that range from chugging metal riffs to subtle background harmonies. The songwriting is solid, and most every track moves through heavier sections, quiet interludes, catchy choruses, and thematic soloing.
Truthfully, I do think Jaded is a decent enough CD for goth and goth metal fans to look into. I have no obvious criticisms of the music, and only dislike much of it for its 80's nature. There's something about 80's melodies that has always bothered me. I hate when music manages to sound like an entire decade of other music. I find something fundamentally wrong with melodies that can dredge up memories of countless other groups. Yet at the same time, there's no denying that goth metal hasn't been the biggest proprietor of bouncy 80's styled vocal melodies, so there's a very specific sort of originality on Jaded.
If you're the type to slum around in classic 80's without feeling dirty afterwards, or if you simply don't mind an 80's sound, you'll find To/Die/For to be a reasonably talented goth metal band. If you strip away the specific melodies, To/Die/For are different from the host of lamenting gothic metal acts such as Tristania and every other Napalm Records band. To/Die/For is immediately more catchy and even kind of fun, and they provide a sort of 'safe' darkness that could very well appeal to many of you.
To/Die/For - Official Site:
Nuclear Blast Records: