Brooklyn-based kid metal band Unlocking the Truth has been blowing up on social media and news networks since signing a $1.7 Million deal with Sony (or is it $1.8 mil or $1.9? It gets bigger with every news report. Lets call it $2 million, kay).
It is not as cut and dry as the headlines make it seem, though. The trio need to sell 250,000 copies of their debut album to receive any royalties at all and for the deal with Sony to continue toward its 5 album $2 million end. This is no easy task for any artist and the kicker is they have only been given a $60 000 advance for their first recording effort.
I believe that $60 000 is enough of a budget to record a solid metal album but do I believe that these kids have the chops to record a great album? Not really, not yet anyway.
Don’t start hating on me just yet, hear me out. I have listened to many of the recordings available online and I see a big problem that is going to hinder their success. Let me explain.
The first thing they need to realize is that their image/gimmick is selling them right now. Of course they have talent but the truth is that all these views on YouTube and interviews on TV shows and invitations to open for big acts relies on the fact that they are very young, I’m not going to go into their color for fear of a terrible black metal pun but it probably has something to do with it as well.
Here is their most recent performance done for Sony. I’m not going to say anything about it – you decide.
Tons of money is already being made all over the internet from pictures and videos of the trio and I sincerely hope that Sony plans to give them a piece of that pie, but the question remains, who is watching?
If you ask someone “Hay, do you want to see three black kids playing brutal metal?” Of coarse the answer will be yes. Ask that same person if they would buy the album and listen to it on their iPod, probably not.
Without the visual novelty, you are just left with fairly boring single guitar metal riffs with no vocals, and rather out of time playing. This means that the majority of their fans are not fans of the genre but rather your general internet crowd who likes being entertained by things like cute babies and cats. They would likely be turned off by a screaming vocalist or the added harmonies of a second guitar.
So how are they going to make an album that can sell just based off of how it sounds? They aren’t. To have any hope of success they will need do a music video for almost every song and get a producer that will make their sound huge and iron out all those slight timing issues and fumbles I keep hearing.
The thing is their music is actually good. You can’t deny it, but it needs more work and polish. They simply should be performing at a higher level before locking themselves in for a full studio effort. Another year or two of practicing and songwriting would likely produce some awesome hits but right now they are taking a huge risk with what is in my opinion, half finished songs.
Luckily, they have many big artists backing them already. This is their one saving grace; other musicians in the industry will likely try and guide them through the record label jungle and help them come out alive on the other side. If they do, then perhaps in 10 years time we will see a whole new generation of musicians being inspired by them.
Unlocking the Truth – it’s a good name.
I wish all the best to these kids and will be following them through their career, if everything comes together and they all work really hard then it could end up pretty amazing for them. I hope it does.