If there is such a thing as 21st Century Nu-Metal then Sunflower Dead would have the market cornered. Definitely not a retread of the notorious genre by any means, Sunflower Dead take the best elements from nu-metal and add more groove and touches of industrial and thrash. One of the things that really sets SD apart from the crowd is vocalist Michael whose range is at times Draiman-esque and borders on operatic (Their cover of The Police’s “Every Breath You Take” especially) while at others he displays one of the most menacing and ferocious growls in metal today (“The Point Of Decision”). Add the piano and accordion playing, and you have a truly unique metal frontman for the 21st Century.

If you’re looking for speed, go somewhere else. While still undeniably heavy, what SD may lack in the fast department (Although guitarists Jamie Teissere and Jaboo might have some words if you don’t pay attention to their riffing especially on “More Than A Habit”), they more than make up for with their incredibly solid low end with and tight grooves.

Featuring former members of Droid, In This Moment, Buckethead, and Two Hit Creeper with a debut produced by ex-Fear Factory bassist Christian Olde Wolbers at the studio of another FF alumnus (Raymond Herrera and Cypress Hill’s B-Real’s Temple Studios), Sunflower Dead might seem like a new band but the collective experience channeled into their debut prove they most certainly are not. That’s evident from the moment “Make Me Drown” opens up Sunflower Dead through the final notes of “The Point Of Decision” making for one of the most solid debut’s of 2012. “Wasted” just takes things higher while songs like the uplifting “Starting Over Again” prove that a band can be just as poignant without beating listeners with brutality.

Sunflower Dead will be unveiled on August 21st through Bloody Bat Records. Get your copy here.

Grade: B

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