Aranda band photo

ARANDA – Stop The World

Aranda - Stop The WorldI’m not a big fan of what they call “Modern Metal”. For you who don’t know, modern metal is the kind of metal that is huge in USA right now.  Bands that on the surface sound really hard, heavy and aggressive, but really aren’t more than pop bands in disguise and there are shitloads of them all over American radio.  The majority of them sound exactly the same and they are, despite their heavy productions, really polished, harmless and safe. That’s why I didn’t gave a rat’s ass about this band when I first heard their single, the ballad “Satisfied” on the radio. I thought it sounded exactly like all the other bands in the genre, the same melodies, riffs, production. Yawn! But a friend recommended this album and I thought I’d give it a spin and then slag it in a review later. Well, I’m not gonna slag this album, because this is actually a very good record!  Sure, they have all the elements that American modern metal bands have, but what makes Aranda stick out is that they have great songs and that they can take a step outside the formula now and again. They might not go down in history as one of the most seminal bands ever and I have a feeling I will grow tired of this album in time, but for now, this works well. In fact, it works very well.

Aranda is a four piece from Oklahoma City and consists of brothers Daemon and Gabe Aranda, B. Webb and Mike Walker and the band started back in 2001 but their self titled debut didn’t see the light until 2008 and it didn’t exactly set the world on fire, but with the follow up, very little are held against them doing just that. “Upside Of Vanity” is a great opener and sounds like a mix of Hinder and 3 Days Grace and are more classic hard rock than anything else, first single “Undone” is just great, a metal song with a modern pop twist, the before mentioned ballad “Satisfied”, that I disliked so much when I heard it on the radio, grew volumes on  me when listened to with earphones and I’m not surprised that this became a hit, while “Stand” is the opposite sound wise, it’s angry, hard but still melodic enough and “Love Hitchhiker” is easily best of all with a fantastic groove and a rocking chorus that should give them another big hit, if they release it as a single. “Hey Sally” is a brilliant half ballad that takes us back to the early 90’s. It actually sounds like the Poison (when Richie Kotzen was with them) song “Until You Suffer Some”. “The Rest Of My Life” is so catchy it almost hurts and another hit song to be.

As a whole, I must say that Aranda has recorded one hell of an album, despite a couple of fillers and I love the fact that they have mixed their modern metal / post grunge sound with lots of 80’s hard rock influences. That makes them less predictable than the rest of the modern metal bunch, even though they’re hardly revolutionary by any means. Maybe not the kind of music I would normally choose to listen to, but a great album none the less.

Jon Wilmenius (8/10)


01. The Upside of Vanity
02. Undone
03. Stop The World
04. Satisfied
05. One More Lie
06. Stand
07. Love Hitchhiker
08. Hey Sally
09. Break Away
10. The Rest Of My Life

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