The Plot In You

First Born

Written by: BL on 04/09/2011 03:12:49

The Plot In You was formed by ex-Before Their Eyes guitarist Landon Tewers as a metalcore side project (back then known as Vessels) to Before Their Eyes, only he decided that he preferred playing in this band and so he parted with Before Their Eyes and The Plot In You as they became known as, were then signed to Rise Records. They had one previous release in the EP "Wifebeater", and with a name like that you can probably guess the sound these guys are going for, very aggressive and breakdown-laiden you're thinking. Not only that but The Plot In You often had controversial themes in their songs (look up the EP's tracklisting to get a hint or their first music video) which kind of added an extra edge. "First Born" is their (appropriately named) debut record and is a concept album about a victim of child abuse, following his life from birth to salvation and his experiences as well as the often dark and depressing issues he has to deal with. An intriguing idea and ambitious if you ask me.

"The Fathers Seed" has probably one of the most ridiculous opening segments I have ever heard from any album. Our story begins with a whimpering girl calling up a man who is presumably her partner and slowly bawls out that she's pregnant (with the album protagonist), then the music immediately cuts in with a massively heavy breakdown and frontman Landon screaming more like a monster less like a human being. But honestly despite being over the top, the rest of the song isn't as bad as you might think, a couple of well interchanged groove riffs and intense breakdowns give off a strong impression of the heavier cool parts of For The Fallen Dreams. Then there's a fairly executed chorus where singer/guitarist Anthony Thoma adds some surprisingly solid clean vocals, his voice having the slightest ever hint of Underoath's Spencer Chamberlain and is much needed to liven up the atmosphere. Later on there's a creepy segment where the lead guitars start whining like sirens and what sounds like female screaming layered into the back. While not exactly the same kind of thing, I get a few tiny reminders of Greeley Estate's "No Rain, No Rainbow" creeping in - heavy while adding in an element of mildly eerie ambience. Overall, like the following tracks "Small Face" and "Bully" it's all kind of from the same a mixed bag, some parts good some parts not so much though The Plot In You do keep things coherent and moving with some assurance thanks to the dark subject matters at hand.

"Miscarriage" is a better song as it goes on. The opening guitars may be a bit mundane and chuggy save for the odd bit of lingering melody, though the drums certainly sound more alive and kicking with a few mixed beats and cymbals thrown in for colour. The chorus here also is definitely a bit more standout, where both Anthony and Landon sing together (though they both sound pretty similar). It's a bit more downtempo though very catchy and again reeks a bit of Underoath (though you may initially disagree) and later on slowly turns anthemic to make the ending actually quite pleasant, maybe a bit of heart inside its cold exterior perhaps. "Rat Poison" dispells any warm fuzzy feelings pretty quickly though by slamming your face back into the broken glass as one of the heavier songs on the album. It's surprisingly bearable though less interesting for sure, the breakdowns don't feel totally random but are too frequent and Landon's ceaseless hard screaming and growling begins to lose its charm by the end. "Neighbors" builds itself up well before the clean vocals return, the instrumentation more layered too and the aggression more measured with an increased melodic presence, before a fiery end wraps it up.

"Filth" is more of the same as before though not the worst of the bunch, while "Unwelcome" seems to have a bit of a swagger to it, even in its chorus that seems almost mocking in its attitude, channeling the negativity pretty effectively before slowing down and letting "Nothing Leaves This Room" open the front door and expelling it, inviting back an invigorating feeling of new air. It's a melodic song, upbeat, energetic, even turning sincere at the end. For sure unlike most of the other songs here, in fact compared to "Rat Poison" it's like night and day and in a way I'm glad there is such a contrast because it feels a bit rewarding to see things change like this. "Dear Dad" brings it home lastly and is a slow burning, picturesque outro where a sad news clip of some actual real life abuse leads into Landon screaming some heartfelt lyrics to some soft guitar. While it's a bit too short, I think The Plot In You have successfully managed to evoke some genuine emotion by this point and I like that with the last two songs in particular the albums draws the story to a fitting conclusion.

Looking back, I honestly don't think "First Born" is that generic a record compared to what a lot of their Rise Records brethren and other heavier metalcore acts are currently doing (mostly because I struggled to find bands that share the same exact sound, and I mean exact), but don't get me wrong it's not a big standout either. I also think that it's unlikely for fans outside of modern metalcore artists to appreciate the album much at all, even with the nicer things I can say about it. The bottom line is that The Plot In You seem a bit inconsistent when it comes to writing more creatively than what one expects and so top marks can't be awarded here. Though it does leads me to believe there is maybe more to come from these guys in the future.

Download: Miscarriage, Neighbors, Nothing Leaves This Room
For the fans of: For The Fallen Dreams, A Plea For Purging, Greeley Estates' "No Rain, No Rainbow", Underoath
Listen: Myspace, Facebook

Release Date 19.04.2011
Rise Records

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