Acoustic rock, Progressive
Days of the New, Opeth
We were very intrigued going into this review. A local band from the "woods" of Massachusetts described as "heavy acoustic" layered with atmospheric progressive rock. We have seen them mentioned in conjunction with Opeth and other bands with a dark edge. We were optimistic that MM might have a refreshing sound to further expand our collection. The band is fueled by Jeff Sanders the creator, vocalist and guitar mind behind the project.
Lyrically, the album is above average painting rustic outdoor settings and various thought provoking natural moods. The production is so so as it could use a bit more clarity and crispness. Our editors are not for sugar-coating, so lets cut to the chase, as all four who had Dreadnought in heavy rotation, had similar comments regarding Jeff's vocals. The collective sentiment are that the vocals are severely lacking and "forced" in every way. Rather than steering the path of Opeth and Swell mentioned above, Jeff goes the rough of Days of the New. Over the top unnatural vocals are the clear problem here. The listener, while intrigued with the unique blend of acoustic guitar, flute, piano, syth, etc., ultimately cringes at the off-key and yes we will use the word "pitchy" vocals. Jeff would be best suited if he were to integrate muffled distortion effect into the vocals. While talented with arrangements and song structure, the dude just can't sing. As much as we are not a fan of Days of the New, Travis Meeks' forced vocals to hold steady, unlike Jeff whose voice is just to fragile and off to make it. Unfortunately, our favorite track on the album is a short instrumental entitled "Your Dirge". The song features some great grinding acoustic melodies. "Angelic" features some solid piano work and is probably our second favorite, mainly due to the fact that Jeff changes his vocal style to soft falsetto and it becomes more of a backdrop to the soothing piano work. You know the review is not going all that well, when our two favorites are the shortest tracks on the album. We do like the feel and potential of Mountain Mirrors, although to take things to the next level we have a very simple and understandably rude recommendation and that is for Jeff to take a step back, continue with his songwriting and keen arrangements, but insert someone who can actually sing. - 1/29/2014
Standout Tracks: Your Dirge