Define Me
(Bullet Tooth Records)

Back before Serianna signed to Bullet Tooth, I had considered the band as having potential to evolve into something similar to Underoath. Instead, the band released Inheritors, which was fairly generic for its scene. While the record was solid enough not to just avoid, it certainly wasn’t anything special either. Well, the band is back, and Define Me is very hit or miss.

The first handful of tracks are even less favorable than the songs of Inheritors, and completely forgettable (despite featuring better vocal work). However, once you’ve reached “Drifter”, things start to look up. Serianna put forth a haunting interlude of sorts that is, not only memorable, but melodic and serene. The track is then followed by several tracks worthy enough of repeated spins. “Snake Oil Salesman” is angry, fast, and fueled by a soaring chorus with prominent lyrics. What comes next is great, but also sad. “The Fallout” is merely instrumental, but features better writing than most of the actual songs on the record. More diversity would help Serianna greatly, but instead they follow it up with their most pissed off track yet, “Pariah” (complete with curse words and generic lyrics, such as “Get the fuck out of my face” and “I’m fucking sick”). Admittedly though, it does have some good breakdowns to it, making “Pariah” a guilty pleasure in Define Me.

Luckily, the band returns to their experimental strengths with “Outlander”, another well written instrumental. Why the band can’t just use this more unique side of themselves for their normal tracks is damn frustrating. However, Define Me does continue to surprise several more times before its completion. “Burial Ground” brings some new elements to the mix, although they last only seconds; “Exist to Outlive” is propelled forth by its excellent clean vocals; “Define Yourself” often sounds large in sound, reminding me of the potential I had once seen in the band years before; and “Remove Rebuild” is quite diverse, and constructed in many tiers.

Define Me is certainly better during its second half, especially closer to its ending. While it does sound as if Serianna is gradually learning, they’re still not quite “there” yet. Give them another two albums and they could possibly be golden. Until then, we’ll just have to accept this love/hate relationship. (Nathaniel Lay)

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