Digital Renegade

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Digital Renegade
Studio album by I See Stars
Released March 13, 2012
Recorded October 18 – November 8, 2011, at The Foundation Recording Studios, Connersville, Indiana
Genre Post-hardcore, metalcore, electronicore
Length 36:16
Label Sumerian
Producer Joey Sturgis
I See Stars chronology
The End of the World Party
(2011)
Digital Renegade
(2012)
New Demons
(2013)
Singles from Digital Renegade
  1. "Filth Friends Unite"
    Released: January 17, 2012
  2. "NZT48"
    Released: February 28, 2012
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[1]
Alternative Press 4/5 stars[2]
Sputnikmusic 2.5/5 stars[3]
Ultimate Guitar 8/10 stars[4]
Under The Gun Review 7/10 [5]

Digital Renegade (stylized as [digital_renegade]) is the third studio album by the American electronicore band I See Stars. It was released on March 13, 2012 through Sumerian Records. It features guest vocals by Danny Worsnop from the English metalcore band Asking Alexandria and Cassadee Pope from the American rock band Hey Monday.[6] Musically, Digital Renegade is notably heavier, more aggressive and metalcore influenced than their previous material while still incorporating elements of pop rock and electronica. The album received generally positive reviews from music critics, who commended its heavier sound compared to the band's previous material. It reached number 45 on the Billboard 200 in the United States, as well as the top 20 on the Rock Albums Chart and the top 10 on the Alternative Albums Chart, making it their most commercially successful album to date.

Background[edit]

I See Stars began recording their third album in October 2011, as soon as the Scream It Like You Mean It Tour finished. After a few recording sessions they began another tour in November. In a commercial video for the Leave It To The Suits Tour, the band announced the album's release date would be March 13, 2012. The commercial trailer included clips from two new songs.

The band played new songs from the upcoming album on the Leave It 2 The Suits Tour, including the song "Gnars Attacks" and the single "Filth Friends Unite". An un-mastered version of "Filth Friends Unite" was released on January 8, 2012, at midnight on the band's Facebook page[7] and the album title, Digital Renegade, was announced a few hours later. A finalized version of "Filth Friends Unite" was released as the first official single from the album on January 17.[8] On February 10, 2012 the album was made available for pre-order and the cover art was revealed.[9] The album's second single, "NZT48", was released on YouTube on February 23 as a lyric video. The song was released on iTunes February 28. On March 6, 2012, Alternative Press premiered the song "Mystery Wall" exclusively on their website.[10]

When asked about Digital Renegade's musical style, the band's lead vocalist, Devin Oliver, made the following statement:

It’s going to be heavier, but still with that pop rock element. It’s going to be more electronic driven. I love everything about electronic music. I think that as we progress, the amount of electronica in our music is going to increase.

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Digital Renegade received generally positive reviews from music critics. Gregory Heaney from Allmusic gave the album a positive review, saying "While the group's fans might find this transition a bit jarring at first, the changes heard on Digital Renegade make it the most mature album to date from a band that's definitely evolving in a promising direction."[1] Heaney indicated "Digital Renegade", "Underneath Every Smile" and "iBelieve" as the AMG track picks.[1] Annie Zaleski from Alternative Press also gave the album a positive review, saying, "Unlike other bands who combine disparate styles, I See Stars do so in unexpected ways; the mash-up of programmed effects and crushing rock elements sounds seamless and exciting. Yet Digital Renegade also won’t alienate long-time fans—the album just reinforces how the band are creatively charged and ferociously ambitious."[2] A writer for Ultimate Guitar said "This album is far more enjoyable than any of I See Stars' previous ones, and carries more emotional weight. Start to finish, this album is a thought provoking joyride."[11] He specifically praised the album's heavier sound in comparison to the band's previous material, as well as its lyrical content.[11] A writer for Sputnikmusic gave the album a mixed review, saying, "To give credit where it is due, there is a sense of such improvement, refinement and progression apparent throughout 'Digital Renegade'. Ultimately, however, the way one views this relatively consistent album will depend on a combination of what they have thought of the band's past two LPs, and the ceiling which they place on the genre as a whole. As is once more proven here, the balance of seamless transitions and imaginative song structures is practically impossible to achieve, with anything bordering on conventional seeming well beyond the capabilities of I See Stars."[3]

Commercial performance[edit]

Digital Renegade debuted and peaked at number 45 on the Billboard 200 in the United States, making it their highest charting album to date.[12] It also peaked within the top 20 on the Rock Albums Chart, as well as the top 10 on Alternative Albums and Independent Albums Chart.[12]

Track listing[edit]

As listed on iTunes:[13]

No. Title Length
1. "Gnars Attacks"   3:29
2. "NZT48"   4:20
3. "Digital Renegade"   3:12
4. "Endless Sky" (featuring Danny Worsnop of Asking Alexandria) 3:33
5. "Underneath Every Smile"   3:17
6. "Mystery Wall"   4:08
7. "iBelieve"   2:38
8. "Summer Died In Connersville"   3:18
9. "Electric Forest" (featuring Cassadee Pope of Hey Monday) 4:26
10. "Filth Friends Unite"   3:59
Total length:
36:16

Charts[edit]

Chart (2012) Peak
position
Billboard 200[12] 45
Billboard Rock Albums[12] 15
Billboard Alternative Albums[12] 10

Personnel[edit]

I See Stars
Additional personnel
Production
  • Produced & engineered by Joey Sturgis
  • Mixed & Engineered mastered by Joey Sturgis
  • A&R by Ash Avildsen & Shawn Keith
  • Management by Brent Mulligan, Bret Disend (Ozone Entertainment) & Carl Severson (Good Fight Entertainment)
  • Booking by Ash Avildsen (The Pantheon Agency, US) & Mark Ngui (EU, AUS & JAP)
  • Artwork by Mark Brown

References[edit]