Rating: 4.5/5
Release Date: February 18th, 2014

With a band name like I Killed The Prom Queen, one should all but expect an unrelenting, almost barbaric breed of music, but even those types of pre-concieved expectations can’t touch the aural assault that is Beloved.

I Killed The Prom Queen, hailing from Adelaide, AUS, have made quite the name for themselves with their devastating penchant for groundbreaking guitar chugs intertwined with an affinity for lucid melodies. After a hugely popular previous release back in 2006, Music For The Recently Deceased, I Killed The Prom Queen re-affirm their decision to move forward with a mixture of clean vocal melodies and ravenous growls, combining guitarist/clean vocalist Jona Weinhofen’s tender approach with newcomer Jamie Hope’s cathartic clamor (“Bright Enough”). It’s almost as if, within the various songs that use this dual approach, I Killed The Prom Queen utilize this fragile, susceptibility to their advantage, luring in their prey before striking in bone-crushing fashion. But, they also use this approach more sparingly this time around, resulting in a much heavier, much more savage release.

Jona Weinhofen’s previous stint with Metal/Hardcore kings turned Alt-Rock/Hardcore innovators, Bring Me The Horizon, rubbed off on him in the best way possible. Not only is this release full of its grinding fury and chaos (“To The Wolves”), but bits and pieces of serene absolution — a subtle reprieve of sorts from all things cataclysm —can be found hiding amongst the mayhem (“Kjaerlighet”). And honestly, some of the most achieved works on the record can be found in those short glimpses.

But, the real breadwinner here happens to be the lead single, “Thirty One & Sevens.” The newly cultivated ethereal, seraphic-like presence that I Killed The Prom Queen have brought to the table is absolutely splendid, but their true sound remains at the heart of what the band has been about since day one … Bringing the noise.

“Nothing Can Last Forever / Nothing Can Last Forever,” Jamie Hope screams on repeat, poetically attesting to the pains of heartbreak. I Killed The Prom Queen unleash a dual threat of vocally tantalizing clean-sung choruses with a combination of forbiddingly menacing verses on the most dominant track of their return. “Thirty One & Sevens” isn’t messing around.

Beloved is the type of record that countless amounts of artists and bands alike, only hope to return to form with after a falling off or a considerable hiatus. And it just so happens that the Adelaide wrecking crew I Killed The Prom Queen not only return to form with Beloved, but they’ve set the bar extremely high for the next 10 months of the year.

Check out I Killed The Prom Queen’s music video for “Thirty One & Sevens” below:


Written by Samuel Lang of 303 Magazine.

Photo and video courtesy of I Killed The Prom Queen and Epitaph Records.

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