WE ARE TO BLAME – Duality I (2022)

WE ARE TO BLAME - Duality I (2022) - full

What happens when the joy of Astrid Lindgren‘s wonderful stories intertwines with the melancholy born from the endless nights north of the Arctic Circle? – Music.
When Swedish guitarist Johan Karlsson posted an ad for a pop vocalist for a metal project in early 2020, Alice Hartvig was both interested and skeptical. Although she was an experienced singer, she had never been involved with metal music before. After a quick discussion and a demo recording, however, it was clear that she was the perfect fit for Johan‘s vision and WE ARE TO BLAME was born.
Together with guitarist Urban Granbacke, they began to write the beginning of We Are To Blame‘s story. Marrying the vocal lines and melodies from pop with the massive foundation of melodic metal, they aim to bring a fresh perspective in a familiar voice.
This is what we hear on the band’s debut “Duality I“, an interesting mix of styles resulting in a quite original sound.

Karlsson & Granbacke are influenced by timeless forms of metal / hard rock, which in combination with Alice‘s poppy melodic vocals, works focused on providing each song with its own identity.
Opening track ‘Breathe’ has a marvellously heavy bass intro that slowly introduces the listener to Hartvig’s amazing vocals that will send shivers down your spine. The guitar playing and solo are divine, and you are now completely drawn into the We Are to Blame world of melodic (poppy?) metal.
‘Losing Rhythm’ is a slightly lighter and more up-tempo track that incorporates some growling male vocals from Karlsson that perfectly compliment the gorgeous female parts from Alice. It’s a glorious tune very well rounded.

‘My Release’ has some clever electronic elements that give it a very modern feel, and it’s delivered at a superfast pace. The choral vocals add further to the songs atmosphere and serve to lift the mood of the listener.
‘The Change’ is a dark and haunting track, bringing desperate and melancholy emotions to the forefront by way of some harsh vocals and a very heavy musical arrangement that hits you hard to your very core. The gloomy mood continues with ‘Falling Down’, which combines a riff laden metallic backtrack with the angelic vocals of Hartvig to create something that is both beautiful yet at the same time deeply disturbing.
The piano playing that accompanies ‘All I Want to Say’ is simply superb, the male/female opposing vocals are sweet candy for the ears and bring this debut to a dramatic close with a track that leaves you begging for more.

”Duality I” by We Are To Blame is nice surprise arrival to the female melodic metal scene this year, and I, for one, can’t wait for Duality II or the next instalment. With winter fast approaching and the dark nights drawing in, let’s hope it’s another creative period for We Are To Blame up there in the Arctic circle, and next year brings more strong music from them.
Highly Recommended


01 – Breathe
02 – Losing Rhythm
03 – My Release
04 – The Change
05 – Falling Down
06 – All I Want To Say (feat. Tom Englund)

Alice Hartvig – Vocals
Johan Karlsson – Guitars & vocals
Urban Granbacke – Guitars
Tom S. Englund (Evergrey) – guest vocals


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