Remember The Charm The Fury? They had a bit of buzz around them for about a week in 2013 when their debut was released, only to be promptly dropped in favour of the next ‘next big thing’. But while their metalcore sound was hardly revolutionary, Caroline Westendorp’s vocals were a potent driving force, and the band were at least able to capture some momentum.
With ‘The Sick, Dumb & Happy’, it’s difficult to know what to think. All too often it falls into the traps of the ‘difficult second album’, largely by trying to be too much at once and only succeeding on a scant handful of occasions. And the fact that the album is all over the place is its main fault, drawing on slamming groove metal on ‘Down On The Ropes’ to modern metalcore bluster on ‘No End In Sight’ to old-school balladry on ‘Silent War’.
It’s indicative of a band who have no real idea where their strengths lie, so they try everything they can to see what sticks. And while some moments do work – the barbed metalcore of ‘The Future Need Us Not’ and the propulsive slam of ‘Songs Of Obscenity’ especially – there’s no sense of cohesion or any identity. That limits just how successful The Charm The Fury can be.
At the end of day, what ‘The Sick, Dumb & Happy’’s success hinges on is its ability to pull fans from all factions of metal to join its cause. That might be the case for individual moments here, but as a body of work it doesn’t work. The best songs cherry-picked into a great EP feels like it would have made for a stronger option. The talent is there, but at present it’s being spread far too thinly.
‘The Sick, Dumb & Happy’ by The Charm The Fury is released on 17th March on Nuclear Blast Records.
Words by Luke Nuttall (@nuttall_luke)