REVIEW: WALKING WITH GIANTS – “Worlds Unknown”
Walking With Giants founder Gary Noon’s story is a fascinating fantasy that every budding musician dreams to fulfil; fronting a band with band members whom you idolize. Noon originally intended to form a tribute band for Sevendust and Alter Bridge, but who knew that three years down the line, he would be collaborating with members from those very bands? Walking With Giants comprises Clint Lowery (Sevendust), Morgan Rose (Sevendust), Brian Marshall (Alter Bridge) and of course Gary Noon, and they are out with their debut album titled ‘Worlds Unknown’, set for release on January 15, 2016.
The first impressions that you get from the album will probably make you describe the sound as spacey, melodic and immensely catchy; however, multiple spins on it unravel the depth and the emotional quotient the songs carry. The album opener “Worlds Unknown” teases you with a melodic keyboard intro before smacking your ear drums with meaty distorted guitars as it leads into the first song of the album “Broken Truth”. The songwriting employs thick walls of distorted melodic guitars over which Gary’s clean vocals soar with harmony, laced with lyrics that create an ambience of inspiration and positivity. Proving one’s worth, overcoming odds and finding our inner strengths for the world to see is the underlying theme this album follows.
Songs like “Heavy Hand” and “Endless Road” are melodic, catchy anthems with a crunchy distorted base that can be used to characterize the quintessential sound of the band. However, one aspect that bugged me about the compositions was the heavy tilt towards melody and the absence of groove-laden, hard-hitting riffs that Lowery is known for in Sevendust. I understand that this is not supposed to sound like Sevendust, but over the course of the album, I found myself expecting for the band to break away from its mid-tempo pace and truly launch into a faster riff or a breakdown or something which had a little more attitude. Noon’s ultra polished vocals too, at a later point in the album, becomes a tad bit tiring. Maybe it’s the Metalhead inside me that constantly craves for some corrosiveness in the compositions, but I expected the band to be a little more in-your-face and shed its clean, picture perfect avatar. The band also loses some momentum gained from the opening moments of the album by treading too deep into the melodic route. Songs like “Bound” and “The Now” further re-enforced this feeling inside me during multiple spins of the album. Towards the end, however, the band fulfilled some of these expectations with stand out tracks like “Different Voice” and “Solid Ground”, where the band incorporates some different elements that had not been showcased thus far on the album.
The production on this album is squeaky clean and packs in the crunch of a Modern Rock band very well. The length of the album is a precise 37 minutes and does not linger on despite the lack of variations in the compositions.
Bottom Line: Walking With Giant’s ‘Worlds Unknown’ is a debut that shows a lot of promise despite its minor shortcomings. I would have loved to see the band incorporate a bit more aggressiveness in the compositions, but having said that, people who like melodic compositions will surely love this debut offering. Does this debut make you want to look forward to the second album? Most definitely!