Metalcore still has a saving grace
When the inevitable doom came across the American metalcore genre, only a few bands really weathered the storm. Every Time I Die was one of the bands to survive the purge, and it’s easy to see why. The metalcore genre was entrenched in At-the-Gates-rip-offery and gratuitous breakdowns, going for style over substance. Metalcore, in truth, did very little to actually resemble its hardcore punk origins. In the end, it seemed to represent more of a passing trend in metal and hardcore’s history.
The bands that did survive ultimately did so because they seemed to defy the tropes and trendiness that came with the label. Every Time I Die is the kind of metalcore band that actually channels the real aggression and speed of hardcore punk, while also showing off their strong metal and southern rock influence. It’s the reason they survived the downfall, and why they still continue to thrive in today’s scene, with praise from both hardcore and metal fans alike.
Their newest effort, Low Teens, is more of the unbridled, raw energy they’ve come to be known for, but it seems like their edge is getting sharper. They’re definitely not showing any signs of softening with age, as the music seems to be getting angrier and more vicious. The first track, “Fear and Trembling,” starts off with a bottom-feeding, beefy riff that sounds intentionally sloppy, almost like it was recorded drunk. You can hear this sort of savage tension building up just in the way it’s played, and it really comes together when the track comes into fruition.
Every Time I Die’s other strength comes from their abilities to write catchy vocal melodies and riffs that don’t end up becoming too poppy or formulaic. “C++ (Love Will Get You Killed)” and “Two Summers” incorporate a lot of heavy rock riffage and catchy melodies that don’t dilute any of the energy and momentum of the music, drawing on all the strengths of punk, classic rock and old school metal alike.
The album displays a really wide array of influences and stylistic elements, yet Every Time I Die manages to make everything their own. “Awful Lot” has some great down-tuned sludge riffs that bring to mind Remission-era Mastodon. “It Remembers” has an opening riff that sounds startlingly reminiscent to Pink Floyd’s “Money,” but still has its own catchy grooves and melodies. “Petal” is a Dillinger-Escape-Plan-esque dissonance-fest that shows off their hardcore roots. “Just as Real but Not as Brightly Lit” has some great southern rock breakdowns, and along with “1977,” punishes with some good old thrash metal nostalgia.
Coming up to an almost 20-year career, Every Time I Die has proven to be one of the biggest saving grace’s of the metalcore genre. Low Teens is another solid entry into their catalog, and should prove to be appealing to both metal and hardcore fans alike.