The Word Alive


Written by: PP on 18/09/2014 23:03:28

After starting out with an impressive EP and a great debut album, The Word Alive have regressed into a generic existence that can best be described as textbook electronic post-hardcore / metalcore. This was already the case on their forgettable sophomore album "Life Cycles" two years ago, but the problem recurs on third album "Real", which leaves behind real question marks as to how relevant of a band The Word Alive really can be going forward. Though younger teens are likely to still lap up these electronically infused melodies and scream/clean combos like candy, the older metalcore / scene generation should surely begin to see through the shallow songwriting that "Real" ironically represents, at least when compared to some of the seminal and critically acclaimed bands found within the genre.

The basic formula remains pretty much unchanged from "Life Cycles". Thick, screamed vocals, fast paced and occasionally technical lead guitars with plenty of distortion, and occasional post-hardcore style cleans usually in conjunction with electronics is what continues to be the recipe for The Word Alive. On occasion, a song like "Lighthouse" delivers an irresistible clean chorus that oozes of good songwriting, but elsewhere the band are dabbling in totally generic and forgettable copy/paste songwriting like "To Struggle And Claw My Way", where heavy/soft sections intersect in no meaningful manner, failing to bring forth a meaningful flow or any actual dynamics. Instead, there's a random breakdown, a screamed section, a chorus, electronically backed melodies, but none of it feels like good songwriting rather than a superfluously put together mix tape with no genuine intentions behind the glossy production. This is strange, because live performances from the band fall among the most passionate and honest I've seen by metalcore bands, but for some reason that doesn't translate across on record in any way whatsoever.

Instead, we get compressed breakdowns (the production on this album makes everything sound computerized and flat, chug-chug one chord melodies replacing parts where the band ran out of ideas, and a few pop choruses throw in to rescue the songs from total anonymity every now and then. Individually, many of the songs might sound surprisingly catchy and decent on first listen, but because they lack depth they quickly become a chore to listen to and fail to draw any emotional response from the listener. These are some of the core characteristics of a generic releases that slavishly follows the genre rulebook, hopelessly influenced by the style forefathers but without being able to interpret this influence to their advantage. "Real", then, is basically the candidate for the most generic metalcore / post-hardcore album in 2014.


Download: Lighthouse, Play The Victim
For the fans of: In Fear And Faith, Blessthefall, The Devil Wears Prada
Listen: Facebook

Release date 10.06.2014
Fearless Records

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