Madlife – Angry Sonnets for the Soul (2011, RBE/Fontana)
1. “Little Ray Of Sunshine” … 3:34
2. “Everyone” … 3:32
3. “Be Tomorrow” … 3:48
4. “Falling Apart” … 4:01
5. “Feeling Alone” … 3:25
6. “I Hate” … 3:19
7. “Think I’m Dead” … 2:59
8. “Money” … 3:06
9. “There I Stand” … 3:53
10. “Tantrum Of A Giant” … 3:03
11. “Screaming People” … 2:57
Angry Phil – Vocals
Isaiah – Guitar
Jimmy Minj – Bass
Kylio – Drums
Producer: Evan 9
Now this was a pleasant surprise! When this album arrived in the mail, based on the description of Madlife being an industrial rock act, I wasn’t sure if I would like it. It’s not a scene I was ever a HUGE fan of but I did like some acts like Rob Zombie, Nine Inch Nails, Static-X, Linkin Park and Powerman 5000. Even Marilyn Manson (who Madlife has toured with) and Orgy put out at least one album that I liked but I haven’t seriously listened to any of those bands since the late ’90s/early ’00s. Out of all the bands I just mentioned, the closest I could comparison to Madlife is Powerman 5000. Though this band is certainly not ripping off PM5K, a lot of the beats in the songs brought that comparison to my mind… even before I realized this album was produced by Powerman 5000 guitarist Evan 9! I think “Falling Apart” is the most like Powerman 5000.
Madlife isn’t as heavy or as electronically offbeat as bands like NIN, Static-X or Manson. They’re much more melodic. The band really does a great job pulling all of their influences together and coming out with one sound. It’s melodic, it’s modern hard rock, it’s industrial. A number of these songs bring me back to when industrial acts were all rage because they sound exactly like songs from that era (not complaining) but there’s also a number of songs that could just as easily find their way onto radio like “Be Tomorrow”, “Screaming People” and the awesome “I Stand There”, which is by far my favorite song on the album. By the way, kudos to vocalist Angry Phil for not resorting to the ugly screaming that is often found in industrial bands. Phil’s vocals are clean and convey a variety of emotions, depending on the song.
In addition to Marilyn Manson, Madlife has toured with numerous modern metal acts like Bullet For My Valentine, Trivium and All That Remains. Coupled with the hooks and ready-radio songwriting talent found on Angry Sonnets for the Soul, Madlife could have a very successful future ahead of them. I’m glad I’ve been turned on to this band.
Highlights: “Little Ray Of Sunshine”, “Be Tomorrow”, “Falling Apart”, “There I Stand”, “Screaming People”