"Mean" (SPV; 2008)

Reviewed by Metal Mark

I have heard a number of promising bands from Italy in recent months, mostly glam bands, though. Idols are Dead hail from Italy and play a style of metal that would likely be described as modern although with some definite classic metal influences. They are not too far removed from bands such as Avenged Sevenfold and Bullet for My Valentine.

"Mean" is heavy with soaring melodies and the band really does have a strong sense of how get the most of those melodies. There are definitely some classic metal influences. I hear Metallica and Judas Priest, for starters. Idols are Dead must be fans of Guns N' Roses, too, because they knock out a cover of "It's So Easy" although it's just a fair version at best.

Idols are Dead play a tight style and they give a good attempt at fusing heavy, blood-pumping riffs with some pop sensibilities. The results are hit and miss though, but certainly more on the positive side. There is no doubt that they understand the importance of creating a powerful song structure. They know how to organize all their pieces and mainly do a fine job of maintaining a strong flow through the entire song. Also they try to mix up styles some and that works in keeping the interest level relatively high.

The biggest shortcoming I hear is the same one I notice in a number of modern metal bands. That is the fact that they just can't let go and plunge forth with a full head of steam. Anything that is kind of heavy still seems like it's held in check by either slick production or a fear of disturbing the overall feel of the song. Whether it's apprehension or not, this choice not to go full throttle has me thinking they like playing like a heavy metal band more than they want to be a real metal band. That may sound harsh, but that's how it makes me feel.

Still there is a lot here to enjoy and they are on the right track. If they just keep pushing forward and let loose a little more often then they may really be a band to watch for in the future.

For more information, check out

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

Back to CD Reviews Home

Back to Home

Copyright 2009 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 01 Apr 2024 12:16:14 -0500 .