For the most part, reissues tend to be an excuse for a label to put out the same album twice, a ploy to get fans to buy a record simply for a song or two. It’s a ridiculous practice, and if you think with the rise of digital music labels have stopped or slowed doing it, you’re wrong. In fact, reissues happen even more often now, especially if a band starts to see some serious fan base growth.
Fortunately, Fit For A King and Solid State aren’t doing the reissue of the band’s first full-length the way most labels would. The reissue of Descendants is a completely re-recorded version of the whole album and includes a brand new song. There’s plenty more to chew on for this reissue than usual.
The most interesting thing about the new versions of the songs from Descendants is how good the songs were the first time around. Besides a few minor issues in transitions and production struggles, there was really nothing wrong with the first issue of the album.
The biggest change between the two versions is how much cleaner and produced the Redux is. It’s probably most evident on cuts like “Ancient Waters” and the title track. The originals sounded raw and the double-kick bridges sound much fuller on the original, while the new versions sound more tight musically.
The other big difference is vocalist Ryan Joseph’s screams between both albums. It seems he went for a more guttural, doom screaming style for the re-recordings, while his vocals were also much more raw and intense the first time around. The cleans are better on the reissue, and that’s probably another reason the band visited the material again.
Overall, the album is a great one with some really catchy, heavy tracks, and anyone who only recently discovered the band and didn’t know about their debut would do well to jump in and grab the Descendants reissue. I like things to be a bit more raw with my metal, but I can also appreciate the new level of production on the new record.