Photo credit by Miracle of Sound
By Kevin Matyi
When the album went on sale, first on Bandcamp and later on various other sites such as iTunes and Amazon, it almost immediately became the top metal album.
Gavin Dunne, who almost singlehandedly makes all of the music under the name Miracle of Sound, said that it was the “Proudest moment of my life, sharing the top two spots with my heroes,” when his album reached the top spot on iTunes, beating Nightwish and Sabbath.
As with previous albums, Dunne brought on guest musicians for parts of a few songs. Metal Up featured guest appearances from 331Erock for “I Am Alive” and Dave Divilly for “Get Your Metal On,” both of whom provided guitar solos.
The album’s 11 tracks vary greatly in sub-genre, ranging from pirate metal to joy metal to “detuned Satan’s bowel movement guitars,” as the Bandcamp album description says. However, the album has a running theme of hope even when life feels like it cannot get worse.
The only song that diverts from this message is the track “Compulsion.” Every other song has a surprisingly positive message behind the power chords, drums beating in double time, demonic vocals and screaming.
The album is not without faults though. Previous Level albums helped new listeners get in to the music because every song was based on an outside story, normally a video game, that many people could understand. Two of Metal Up’s songs, “Sirona” and “Gráinne Mhaol, Queen Of Pirates,” are based heavily on Irish culture, which is not as widely known.
This by no means says that they are bad songs. In fact, many fans said that their favorite track on the album was “Sirona,” and the lyrics and instrumentation are so fast and energetic in “Gráinne Mhaol” that it is an extremely enjoyable listen. The only problem with their cultural roots is that fewer people will connect to them as quickly as in previous songs.
Metal Up also has “the longest, most self-indulgent MOS song ever, and possibly my favorite,” according to Dunne’s Twitter account. The song, “Mother Earth,” is nearly 12 minutes long and contains several sub-genres unto itself.
This album provides an interesting crossover for some people. On Bandcamp, at least one person commented they normally did not like the metal genre, but liked Miracle of Sound songs and would give the new album a chance. Another person said they normally did not like video game music, and so avoided Miracle of Sound songs, but liked metal and would listen to the album.
Dunne has also allowed for more people to hear his music by taking a seldom heard stance. He is completely fine with people pirating his music if they cannot afford it. His only requests are that if you use his music you credit him and to tell your friends about him.
For the first time ever, Miracle of Sound has released a single genre album. However, it takes the metal genre in as many directions as possible, all while exploring the theme of hope. Everyone should listen to this album once, since at least one song will likely fit your tastes, even if you do not normally listen to metal.