The Word Alive – Life Cycles
It’s no secret that here at Metal Delirium we have been big fans of The Word Alive and admittedly me and Justin have grown out of their music, not necessarily hate it, just moved on to bigger and much better things. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to check out their new album though. Hell their first EP and LP I must have listened to fifty times when I first got them. I had high hopes for “Life Cycles” and unfortunately I was pretty let down.
From start to finish it feels like the band lost all the power and ferocity they had on the first album. I used to see them having some progressive elements in the guitar lines and doing newer things with that deathcore genre but now, whew they have just lumped themselves into it. Songs like “Live a Lie” and “Room 126”(which happens to be the best song on the album because it is the closest to their old sound) seem to be heavy just the sake of being heavy. Every other song sounds like Telle Smith just decided he didn’t have to scream anymore and he was going to whine through the album.
A sub-par follow up to an amazing debut album. I was hoping for a lot more from the band and I was greatly disappointed. Not heavy throughout most of the album and when it did get heavy it seemed like it was just for the sake of it.
Bury Tomorrow – The Union Of Crowns
Now for a band in Bury Tomorrow that has always had a lot of potential and one of the better singers in metalcore. That’s right, METALCORE. That genre is still around and believe it or not it can still put out good music and good bands and Bury Tomorrow is one of them. Combining elements of bands like In Flames, Trivium, and early Killswitch Engage but morphing them into something else they have created a sound unto their own.
From the opening song “Redeemer” it is clear that the band is back and better than they were on their debut. Dani Winter-Bates kicks off with his growls and screams while Jason Cameron cements his spot to me as one of the best actual singers in the genre. Have I mentioned yet how good the song “Royal Blood” is yet? It just came up as I was writing and I need to mention it. BRUTAL AND MELODIC, a hard mixture to make. The chorus is a very well laced, melodic and then bam! This brutal verse kicks in and you see just what the band is fully capable of.
Look, the songs are good, very good but there is nothing new being brought to the table. Yeah, it has a lot of positive points but I can’t overlook the cookie cutter metalcore sound that has been presented here. The band knows I love them, I don’t mean anything bad against them or this album because I love it and have listened to it numerous times without a problem, it just doesn’t get anything higher than a seven because it is almost the same album as “Portraits” and I haven’t seen much growth.
Marduk – Serpent Sermon
You don’t get many black metal reviews from me folks because I rarely find ones that I like and usually I let Justin handle them. But for once I am here with a damn album I really like from one of the most legendary bands in the genre MARDUK.
Yes, this is your typical black metal album. The blast beats rarely let up, the tremolo picking is in full effect and it’s rather amazing nobodies wrist exploded from the constant strumming. At first I was a little turned off by the vocals of Mortuss because I felt like it was a little…Dimmu Borgir-ish for my taste but I kept listening and grew to like it. It’s black metal at its best and what more could a fan of the genre ask for? The band has been using the same style for twenty years but damn, if it works it works.
Pick a song on the album? Well I enjoyed the opening track “Serpent Sermon” because of the pure black metal sound of it. “Coram Satanae” because it has a bit of that blackened thrash feel that really brings new elements into the genre. “Temple of Decay” because while it keeps the black metal sound and atmosphere it introduces a bit of doom metal into the mix which is a nice shake up to the album.
A fucking great black metal album that everybody should check out. You can’t fault a band that has been around for that long for sticking to the same formula and still making great music.
Miseration – Tragedy Has Spoken
Just like black metal, you have to take death metal for what it’s worth. A lot of bands don’t stray from the beaten path and some do. Miseration do not. From start to finish this is a death metal album that has constant double bass drumming, non stop guitar riffing, and deep guttural vocals. It all works to. Miseration know that this is what the fans want and they deliver.
Now, that isn’t all saying a band thing because this mix of Swedish and north American death metal is anything from bad. Hell, “On Wings of Brimstone” you even get a taste of the old Scar Symmetry sound when Christian Älvestam performs some of his old school clean vocals. It’s hard to pick any stand out songs on the album because they all follow the same formula. “Disaster Cage” might be the heaviest, treading into a black metal sound at times.
Another great album that just doesn’t bring anything new to the table. I love the sound and death metal fans near and far will love it if they give it a listen. It isn’t ground breaking or influential in anyway, but it is a damn good death metal album.