Noise Pollution - UnrealNoise Pollution are an Italian band with a tenuous grip on the English language and an equally shaky understanding of good music. And honestly, if this is what you’re going to call your band, it better be tongue-in-cheek and your band better not suck, or you’re just asking for it in a review. Billed as a “Hard ‘n’ Heavy” band, the promo material for these guys is entertaining. They’ve been around for more than ten years but are “interesting newcomers,” and apparently have found themselves in “stage sharing situations” with bands like Black Stone Cherry and Airbourne. Whether that means they rushed the stage at concerts or opened for them at some point, I have no idea, but apparently, we can expect music along the same lines as those bands.

What it actually means is that on Unreal, Noise Pollution’s second album, the band are trying to mine the same grooves and vibes as bands like Five Finger Death Punch and Black Stone Cherry. The album opens with “Breaking Down,” a groove-heavy number that introduces us to the first of the nonsensical song lyrics. “Do you want it, you feel it, your life is breaking down,” the singer whispers menacingly over a rising synth line. I don’t understand. In fact, I don’t understand most of the lyrics on Unreal, when I can even decipher them. The singer’s thick Italian accent coupled with the obviously phonetic pronunciation means most of the time the lyrics come across as pure gibberish. Just sing in Italian if you don’t know English guys, nobody will hold it against you.

Okay, sorry about that rant. Back to the music. Noise Pollution go for thick, downtuned groovy riffs throughout, and song openers such as “Breaking Down,” “Shame,” and “MAD” show that the band can produce some decent, if generic, leads. Sadly, the songs are never as interesting as the openings promise, and we’re left with a feeling of sameness [Watch it, buddy….Steel Druhm] due to the lack of imagination in the arrangements and lack of skill on the instruments. The songs aren’t completely awful, and in fact border on okay, but Unreal as an album just can’t maintain what little momentum the sporadically decent riffs generate. Heck, the title track is a power ballad with no charisma, and album closer “Full of Dreams,” with lines like “I’ve never tried to be better than the others, I’ve always tried just to be the best,” is an even worse ballad, bringing Unreal to a merciful conclusion ten songs too late.

Noise Pollution 2016

Much like the promo spiel and song lyrics, the production, mix, and arrangement are all puzzling. Take “Breaking Down” – what starts as a heavy, groovy number (and makes one think this might be an unintelligibly good record) suddenly has weird keyboards playing around distractedly in the background. “MAD” pans the guitars and toms hard left and right in a gimmicky fashion much like a first-time mixing engineer would do. Vocals on “Gone Forever” are at least twice as loud as anywhere else on the record. Nearly every song features horrible drum samples too, although they do differ from track to track, the worst being the incredibly cheesy and dated sounds on “Full of Dreams.”

A half-dozen plays through, Unreal just makes me giggle more than it did upon first listen. The band is trying to find that modern metal radio-friendly groove that a zillion other bands aim for, and for brief moments at the beginning of some songs they show us that groove, but the overall performances combined with the ESL lyrics and sketchy production leave the record sadly wanting. My fiancée says “well you need to give them a 1.5 for even trying,” but I just can’t bring myself to be that generous. Anyone can put out a shitty album without trying.


Rating: 1.0/5.0
DR: 8 | Format Reviewed: 160 kbps mp3
Label: Scarlet Records
Websites: noisepollutionofficial.it | facebook.com/noisepollutionofficial
Releases Worldwide: October 14th, 2016

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  • AlphaBetaFoxface

    How come an Italian band with an unreal (lol) concept of musicality and production still understand that DR8 is better than DR3

    • Dead1

      So you’re saying the Metallica’s and Fallujah’s of the world could actually learn something from these guys?

      I really appreciate that Angry Metal Guy isn’t scared to dish out the smackdown on poor albums. On other websites they would’ve given them a 4 or 5 out of 5, especially if it came out on Nuclear Blast or Century Media or any other bigger label.

      • AlphaBetaFoxface

        It’s not the size of the waveforms but the size of the DR that counts.

        In other words, chicks dig a big DR.

    • Oscar Albretsen

      Metallica’s got a new album coming next month! How bad will it be?

      • sir_c

        DR -1 with shit drumming I presume

  • Dr. Wvrm

    See? You finally got that 1.0. I knew you could do it.

    That youtube screen cap is all sorts of nope.

    • Huck N’ Roll

      The sad thing is I picked this one…

  • Reese Burns

    Do I stop listening to Avenged Sevenfold’s new single to hear how bad this is? Naw, don’t think so.

    • The Nerd.DMF GO JAYS

      How is it?

      • Reese Burns

        Really good, though I admit I’m a tad biased. It’s got a lot of fun guitar work and the vocals have this cool live-recording feel to them. It’s really good, and I’m looking forward to the album!

        • The Nerd.GO JAYS

          The guitar work is fantastic. Nobody can deny they’re talented. And this is a really good song too.

          • Morrowind542

            Yeah, Synyster Gates just keeps getting better as a guitarist. I’m really liking their new drummer, too. He’s not as good as The Rev, but he’s a thousand times better than their last one. I just wish one of them could write as well as The Rev.

          • The Nerd.GO JAYS

            Agreed on all accounts. The Rev was a damn fine drummer, and it would’ve been hard to replace him although Portnoy did a good job on Nightmare.

          • Morrowind542

            Yep. I wish Portnoy would have stayed on as their replacement. The biggest hole The Rev’s passing left in the band was his songwriting, and Portnoy would have gone a long way toward filling it, especially as it seems they want to go in a more progressive direction. As of now, it appears that Synyster Gates is providing most of the creative stuff, like the acoustic section of this new single. Unfortunately, it doesn’t extend to the rest of the song.

            Then again, DT is my favorite band, so I may be a wee bit biased.

    • Morrowind542

      Now the question is, do I stop listening to this to go check out A7X’s new single? …Yep.

    • Eli Valcik

      A7x’s new single is really good. One of the few “mainstream” bands that gets a pass from me.

  • Reese Burns

    The guy in the video looks like a knock off of the new cut-rate Joker.

  • Wilhelm

    I might be in the minority but I don’t really think this sounds as bad as a 1.0, I’ve heard much worse on this site with higher scores lol

    • Huck N’ Roll

      Remember, the embedded track is the one their PR thinks is absolutely the best they have to offer. It’s all downhill from there. Not much of a slope, mind you.

  • Oberon

    Just the name dropping alone merited this album a 1.0, and i had to listen to my now ex defend nickel back

    • Oscar Albretsen

      Not a Nickelback fan, but I don’t get why people despise them so much. I saw a readers’ poll recently that voted them “worst band of the Nineties.” They didn’t really start until 2000, but, still, worse than ICP? Worse than Limp Bizkit? Worse than Creed? Like I said, I’m not a fan, but if a song comes on the radio, I don’t run to change the station.

      • Oberon

        I came to loathe their very existence after hearing the same three songs on the radio, ad naseaum. It was made worse by the people who tried to convince me how talented and awesome they were to see live.

        • Oscar Albretsen

          Yeah, I never heard them much, but can see how hearing them repeatedly wouldn’t be much fun.

      • sir_c

        Well, as Jeremy Clarkson once put it, it would be similar to answering a question like “what is your favourite eye infection?”

  • Treble Yell

    Well, the cover art is nice. Good review. Love the opening salvo.

    • Oscar Albretsen

      Honestly, didn’t like the cover art. Halloween is over, but I can’t remember how to get this mask off.

  • Oscar Albretsen

    “Radio friendly groove metal” certainly sounds appealing, but , yeah, these guys are run of the mill on a good day. Simplistic and forgettable. Bizzare video. So, this is what it would be like if they put Jesus in an insane asylum?