Rod Pole and Emo

13th Draft, unlucky for some, unlucky for me because I've had to listen to this album several times. Poland make another bid to move into the metal world with 13th Draft. They're a mixture of Emo and newschool Hardcore (whatever that is), a hybrid of Underoath and Hopesfall spiced with many hot relishes. If this PR claim has already put a sneer on your face and started to churn the bile in your stomach then you may as well stop reading now because it doesn't get any better.

The biggest problem I've got with 13th Draft is that they sound very American. They're ultimately a copycat band trying to tap into the already overcrowded and rather irritating screaming emo genre. I'd rather see a band use their own cultural influences and develop a brand of Polish metal than listen to an eastern European band churn out 3rd rate American/British emo hand-me-downs.

This doesn't mean to say 'Where Do We Go From Here...?' is the worst album you'll ever hear (From a second story window stake a good claim for that honour). This album is littered with little slices of excellence. These are chiefly made up of well written and emotive clean passages of music, for example, the ride out on 'Dead or Live' is quite sublime, and the gentle interlude of 'Evening Star' is quite magical. When the band turn up the volume and go into distortion mode is the time when they turn into a pretty tuneless racket. Like all screaming emo of this ilk, this is very in the way of actual riffs or tunes for the listener to identify not only the song but also substantiate one song from another. As you can gather, apart from the quiet sections on this disc, most of it sounds the same. This is largely due to the generic monotone vocal screeching of 'Krystian' (who has since been replaced by 'xOzehx' after the recording had been made). Krystian occasionally falls into whiny out of tune mode, but this is exception rather than the rule. It's not that his voice is bad, it's just extremely boring because he does very little with it except scream, which in my opinion is the biggest downfall of this type of music.

The music itself isn't particularly heavy, occasionally sounding like a heavier Radiohead but with banshee wailing over the top. Such easy listening music doesn't warrant the screaming, it's a little like adding tractor wheels to a push-bike, yes they are wheels but not the right type of wheels for the vehicle. Krystian's vocals wouldn't sound out of place over a dose of death metal, but over this weedy music they just sound out of place.

The heavier sections on this album are redeemed somewhat by 'Bottled up Grievance' by containing a slow, heavy musical passage at the 1.45 minute mark. It's a little more fitting for the vocal style and the highlight of the thrashier side of this disc. If you're an emo lover then this might be worth your interest because the mellow sections of this album are very impressive. There is a good mix between the two styles of playing, it all depends on how much of the tuneless thrashing your can withstand. Thankfully, if you're like me and think this type of music is quite pointless, then the twenty-four minute running time of 'Where Do We Go From Here...?' (this only includes 7 tracks, 2 of which are just interludes) will mean you won't have to suffer it for too long. But if you can't wait to get your hands on this CD then you won't get much for your money. 'Where Do We Go From Here...?' a serious question the band should be asking themselves, for when the emo bubble bursts.