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Music Review: Aiden – Conviction

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Seattle, WA-based Aiden are what I like to call a band of underdogs. Underestimated in every sense of the word, they continue to push. At first, you may not want to like them or their music but with an intense and energetic show, they somehow manage to win you over. What started in 2003 as homage to bands such as The Misfits and AFI has become a perfect example of the DIY ethic started years ago.

With their new release Conviction (Victory Records), they have carefully constructed a record full of dark but danceable sing-along anthems with an assortment of driving beats full of mood and brood.  While starting with a rather predictable yet beautiful piano arrangement called “The Opening Departure,” it serves only as a false route of where the record will take you. With the help of producer John Goodmanson (Death Cab for Cutie, Bikini Kill, Soundgarden), they propel right into the catchy and hook-filled gems “She Will Love You” and “Teenage Queen.”   

Their first single “One Love” takes a turn toward New Order/Joy Division territory but without turning it into a horrific disparity. With lyrics like One Love/in Your Eyes Now/Look Afraid/Beyond You and Me, its almost as if singer WiL Francis wants you to laugh with him in his misery.

Aiden

There are moments though where the blueprint of AFI’s catalog begins to bleed into the songs. With “Darkness,” it almost comes off sounding like a B-side of Sing the Sorrow. Now, those are just minor things. It’s nothing so bad that you can’t enjoy the album at all. I truly believe this record was done with every intention of keeping you humming to each tune. If that was the goal, it accomplishes that feat with great precision.  

With the tenth track “Bliss,” guitarists Jake Wambald and Angel Ibarra really bring out their found love of Bernard Sumner’s guitarwork in Joy Division with the simplistic yet soaring riffs that with appease both old and new fans alike. In theatrical fashion, the album ends as it begins with a piano outro and slowly goes into the soaring chorus of “The Sky Is Falling.” 

Bottom Line: At times, they can come off sounding like AFI’s kid brother but Conviction is solid and graceful transition from the realm of “horror rock” into the more post-hard core and beat-driven theatrics that made bands like The Cure, Joy Division and HIM so popular. This is a definite recommendation.

 

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About Jerry Rojas

  • Maria Coleman

    Aiden is awesome and so is Conviction. Why is everybody saying that they’ve changed and it’s for the worst. Bands have to change. And what’s wrong with that? Aiden has rocking from Our Gangs Dark Oath to their EP Rain in Hell. They’ve even said that physically they can not do the same stuff over and over. Aiden is one of the many bands that have changed. Fall Out Boy, Good Charlotte. They’ve changed but singing the same slit-my-wrists-and-watch-the-blood-come-out music is awesome but all bands need to change.
    Forever and Ever an Aiden Fan
    Rock on! From the Bayous!!!!!

  • X so mute and beautiful x

    very true and i agree
    which means your safe
    but the lyrics are
    one love
    in your eyes now
    look afraid
    beyond human aid

    just pointed this out
    cuz im ocd like that
    no disrespect meant

    <3

  • ~Omniscent~

    Okay, so I haven’t actually heard the whole album but I agree with Maria. Bands have to change and though I absolutly adored old Aiden I can’t wait to hear their new stuff. Some people get all ticked off at the fact that wiL has tried to pull off some vocals that were beyond him at the time (ex. “fifteen”) but that doesn’t mean he can’t get better. So I’m hoping for a new, and hopefully better, Aiden than what they were.
    ~*~

  • http://wp.blogcritics.org/writer/jerry_rojas jerry

    X so mute and beautiful x—No worries. The copy that Victory sent me was a promo and didnt have the lyrics included. Those were the ones I found online.

  • Convicted

    Umm, the lyrics are “One love in your eyes now, look afraid, beyond human aid”

    I read the lyrics on the CD art booklet.

    But yeah, Aiden is awesome.

    We are M…

  • http://loveya! Diamond

    I love Aiden alot I print off a bunch of pics when I get on the computer. But I hope one day i could get the chance to meet WiL. Well I guess thats all for now lOVE YA!
    :Aiden 4 ever:

  • http://myspace.com/u_killed_kenny_u Maria Coleman

    Whats up? I suppose all of you have heard the new CD and omfg it is awesome! I’m glad some of you agree w/ me that every band needs to change. and no disrespect taken.Everyone has their own opinion but just opening some doors because so many people have been dissing Aiden for their new sound. But has anyone seen the video “one love”? Now the video has definetly changed from vids like last sunrise or die romantic. i’d really like to see them make a video out of “teenage queen”. Well, i’m @ school rite now so i have to get back to powerpoints.
    Forever and Ever an Aiden Fan
    Rock On! From The Bayous!

  • http://shutupstorm Kourtnie

    ok AIDEN so great in concert totally hot!!!!!!!!!!!!!tyms lyk 7585749439871458754 omg(orgasim)hahaah no jk hee hee i love them cant wait 2 c there nxt concert

  • Jackson

    finally, someone isn’t just bashing Aiden because they’re not as ‘metal’ as they were in Nightmare Anatomy.
    +

  • Sarah

    Personally I am a fan of all Aiden’s work. But Conviction is not my favorite album. I think the music was just a little too calm for wiL’s (vocalist) rough ridged voice. Just my opinion. But either way, I love wiL and I can’t wait for the new album.

  • Dean

    I don’t like Conviction. It’s too whiny. Aiden was not emo before, but since Conviction they have gone that way. Wil has a gift, a punk rock hardcore voice. He is not using it for what nature intended it. I love Aiden, but this is the worst album they have made. I hope the new one will go back to the roots. I have read others comments and I have to say, I understand that you have to change to keep things interesting, but too much change alienates your fans. Fall Out Boy, is now a joke because of this, Panic! At The Disco changed to try to sound like the Beatles and failed. Atreyu went… well I don’t know what the hell they were thinking, although they seemed to have turned their shit around, thank you guys. Bands can stay within their limits but still be different, perfect example A Day To Remember didn’t alienate anyone with the new album Homesick, they sound better and are more dynamic than ever. Bottom line, do what your good at, don’t try to prove to yourself that you are not trapped to one genre. Because even if you are, it’s not a bad thing, it just means you have a fan base. I can’t wait for the new album guys! Aiden is the best! :)

  • thomas

    Dear Sir/Madam

    I am writing to ask you to allow me to use an review that I got of your website for my school GCSE ICT project. I hope that you will be generous enough to let me use that review i got of your excellent and very professional website.
    Yours sincerely
    Thomas
    Ellis