1 December 2022
We Are To Blame – Duality I
Alice Hartvig was intrigued and skeptical when Johan Karlsson advertised for a pop vocalist for a metal project. Despite her experience as a vocalist, she had never been involved with metal music before. However, after a brief discussion and demo recording, it was clear that she was the ideal fit for Johan’s vision, and “We Are To Blame” was born. They began writing the beginning of the story “We Are To Blame” with guitarist Urban Granbacke. They aim to bring a fresh perspective in a familiar voice by fusing pop vocal lines and melodies with the massive foundation of metal.
They want to bring music that moves the listener by using strong lyrical themes that are close to their hearts. The band’s sound is influenced by power metal, melodic death metal, and progressive metal. Using both symphonic and electronic elements in combination with Alice’s vocals, with a strong emphasis on giving each song its own identity.
Duality I is their first album, released on November 1st, 2022, and it contains everything that a good album should have. “Beautiful,” “Joyous music.” “Breathe,” and “Losing Rhythm.” My Release, “The Change,” “Falling Down,” and “All I Want to Say” are the songs on the album.
“Breathe“, which was released as a single earlier this year, opens the album. The prog-metal definitions are an exciting tapestry to witness with the pop-style vocals. It has a flow similar to Evanescence or Paramore, but it stays true to its metal roots. The brutal track creates melodies that balance the attack and chassis of the entire song, based on the strong substructure of their love for metal.
“Losing Rhythm” is an obvious favorite. The djent part, like any good groove metal song, must take a back seat rather than driving the rhythm. That’s exactly what this track does, while also producing a delicious riff. The opening is enough to know that the song will be at the helm of something special while also having the onslaught of a good metal song. As usual, the vocals steal the show, but they absolutely nail the theme.
“My Release” is the next track, and it begins with a generous, mystical suspense phase. It takes an unexpected term to fit the groove, with the drum attack providing the necessary yank on the spine. The vocals draw you in, while the instruments create their dark, complex rhythmic construct that echoes the hallowed halls but aspires for a creative break. By far my favorite track, at least by the chorus, which had me on my knees. A near-perfect song, to be sure.
With “Falling Down,” “We Are To Blame” brings their ability to create false premises and insane build-ups. It begs for the kind of rhythm that the waterfall brings. To say the least, the verse section is unexpected. Though this may disappoint purists, it is exactly what the riff requests. The bridge riff incorporates elements from the intro riff, allowing the part to marinate rather than embalming it with chaotic sounds.
“We Are To Blame” collaborates with Tom Englund on “All I Want To Say.” The soft, feathery touch of the piano combined with the distorted guitar riff in one of their early singles is a welcome addition to any song. Tom’s vocals, reminiscent of Dream Theater, provide a break from Alice’s melodic pipes. The vocal back-and-forth adds a whole new, unexplored dimension to their song. This track has the most to offer from this band that has smashed every attempt at making a first impression, with one of the most enticing chorus parts in all of their songs. They say it’s made of iron.
“We Are to Blame’s Duality I” is one of the best surprises to hit the metal scene this year, and I can’t wait for Duality II or the next installment. With winter fast approaching and the dark nights drawing in, let’s hope We Are to Blame has another creative period up there in the Arctic circle and that next year brings more beautiful music.
We Are To Blame are:
Alice Hartvig – Vocals
Johan Karlsson – Guitars & vocals
Urban Granbacke – Guitars
For more information about the band “We Are To Blame” and their new EP “Duality I,” click the link below.