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Album Review: Pop Evil "Onyx"

by Greg Atoms

I keep the reviews short, to the point, without fluff language. We grade on a 5-point scale, by the "$" to represent our suggestion on how to approach purchasing the album. It goes like this: $ - don't buy, $$ - buy the singles online, $$$ - download the whole album online, $$$$ - buy a physical copy, $$$$$ - buy the deluxe edition CD/DVD combo package and a vinyl copy. So here we go: 


After Pop Evil released War of Angels in 2010, the band had almost instant member turnover. The only member who remained from their second album are lead singer Leigh Kataky, rhythm guitar Dave Grahs, and bassist Matt DiRito. Adding lead guitarist Nick Fuelling and drummer Chachi Riot have helped to create a heavier sound for Pop Evil heading into Onyx. 

In an interview before the album's release, drummer Chachi Riot revealed that there are no acoustic guitars on the album, which is a big change from the two most successful singles the band has had, "100 in a 55" and "Monster You Made". There are only two songs that have a lighter tempo, and unlike the two previously mentioned hits, they don't STAY with that tempo. The two songs on Onyx are "Torn to Pieces" and "Silence and Scars" which both pick up during the song. 

The other ten songs on the album come flying at you with raised fists. The whole thing kicks off with "Goodbye My Friend", and shifts into soon-to-be-concert-anthem "Deal With the Devil", before it crescendos with their lead single "Trenches". 

Then the slightly "experimental" section starts with "Torn to Pieces", and "Sick Sense" The album also includes an inspirational track with an "It gets better" message with the song "Beautiful". 

The rest of the album sounds heavily influenced by the underlying angst the band still holds for former labels and possible personal relationships, the songs "Divided" and "Behind Closed Doors" have the us-against-the-world feel to them. 

The sleeper track on this one is "Sick Sense" which sounds like the love-child of Kanye West and Trent Reznor produced it. 

Final verdict:

This is Pop Evil's best work yet. It deserves to be in your physical CD collection.