Metalcore. Trance. Screams. Auto-Tune. All are key elements to the third studio album by I See Stars, cleverly titled “Digital Renegade” (And I say cleverly because they’re mixing metal and digital music, and on their record label, Sumerian Records, that’s something tht would be considered renegade). Without these elements, they’d have produced an album that sounds exactly like the latest Attack Attack! album, which, by the way, you should try to avoid at all costs. The album would be a blank slate, with the music being nothing more than growled words.
For those who don’t know, I See Stars is a six-piece electronic/metal band formed in Warren, Michigan in 2006. They’re often criticized for overuse of electronic in their music, due to being signed to Sumerian Records, a label that primarily signs death-core/metal bands (such as Upon A Burning Body and Born Of Osiris). But the use is something that separates them from the mold, and something fans and the band themselves have grown to enjoy. Says frontman Devin Oliver, “I love everything about electronic music. I think that as we progress, the amount of electronica in our music is going to increase.”
“Digital Renegade”, seen typeset as “digital_renegade”, opens with group vocals, asking “how do you live with yourself?”, and continuing on to state “We wage a war on fame and fortune, I can feel that everything, everything, is about to change”, a theme that is continued throughout the album, ending on the final track, “Filth Friends Unite”. Well, it’s the final track if you don’t count the bonus track.
The biggest flaws on the album are that the flow isn’t as smooth as the previous album, and the production on most of the tracks isn’t done nearly as clean cut as either of their others, feeling kind of vibrate-y. However, the same could be said about both Of Mice & Men albums, along with every album producer Joey Sturgis has appeared on.
However, even the biggest flaws cannot debate that two of the best tracks are the ones that feature guest spots, because let’s face it, guest spots make everything better. These specific guest spots come in the form of Hey Monday’s Cassadee Pope and Asking Alexandria’s Danny Worsnop. Pope adds just the right amount of the missing elements on the track “Electric Forest”, and Worsnop adds his ego to the track “Endless Sky” (Fans of Worsnop’s will notice that this is a positive thing as opposed to a negative thing).
Overall, if you enjoyed either of their past releases, 2008’s “3-D” and 2011’s “The End Of The World Party”, you will most likely enjoy this release, as it combines the heavy elements of the former, and the pop/electronic elements of the later.
“NZT48” (And yes, that IS a reference to the movie Limitless)
“Electric Forest (feat. Cassadee Pope of Hey Monday)”
“Mystery Wall” (A song that features the chorus from “Mistaken For A Westend Mistery”, a song from their 2007 demo)
Searching for friends in the filthiest places,