After a few years of allowing their previous album “Aggressive” to settle, Beartooth decided to bring the heat with another major release for the metal/hardcore scene of music. This album takes audience members back to older releases by the band, which, just at the thought of that, gets the masses pumping, ready to dive in. When looking at this album, the band utilizes staple musical nuances that scream the Beartooth brand. The instrumentalists are constantly feeding the audience larger than life instrumental licks that complement the vocal line perfectly. Each of these instrumental moments that the audience receives gives the audience another outlet to connect to the lyrical content, for every musical instance that is represented on this album all connects to one another whether that be through theme or practice. Additionally, when talking about music techniques, it is imperative to talk about the juxtaposition of lyrical content to instrumental materials through the idea of contrast. The band is pure in their attempt in this album; meaning, they are never giving their audience repetitive musical content, for there are moments of highs and lows within each individual track. A big example of this is through vocal isolation, which allows certain points of the lyrical line to pop compared to others. A new motive that is evident throughout this album is the utilization of the vocalist’s lower singing/screaming vocal. This gives the audience more musical depth, and brings forth various genre influences outside their normal genre comfort zone. This approach allows for more instrumental exploration as well as a larger spectrum of reliability, which will help to increase the success of this album. Another good point to discuss that I touched on briefly is the intricacy of the instrumental lines. Yes, the instrumentalists are fully going to town with all of their moments; however, in this album, the instrumentalists have more opportunity to shine, for the band often spins into these over the top breakdowns or instrumental solos that are just phenomenal. Overall, I would give this album a 5 out of 5 stars. I know, it’s kind of crazy to rank this album right next to their first full length album. However, this album pushes Beartooth in an evolutionary way, while also pulling from the nuances that put them on the map. Mixing that with overly relatable lyrical content and memorable tunes: how could a perfect score not be achieved?
“Greatness or Death”, “Bad Listener”, and “Enemy”
With an album as strong as this one, it is hard to pinpoint the “best of the best” in terms of the individual songs represented on the record. I know, a hard task, but it had to be done. These tracks stick out amongst the pack, for each of these encompass all of the new and old techniques that the band brings to the table through this record. With that being said, these selections each have their own identity, and it is crazy to sit back and listen to how different each of these tracks are, while still being so interconnected. Please, do yourself a favor and at least give these tracks a listen. (Shout out to the song “Disease” because it almost made the list as the honorary fourth best track).
When first looking at this album, it can be said that it is easily inviting, for it portrays an imagine that is weirdly intriguing. This will help to bring the curiosity of audience members, which will help guide them to take part in the music content that lies on the inside. Connecting the cover art to that of the music that falls on the inside, the first thing that jumps out is the picture of the human being smothered by a snake, which is evident by the snake that is being wrapped around the figures’ face and head. This connects to the lyrical content of the record, for the majority of the album talks about the struggles of everyday life, but more specifically, it talks about the struggle of the mental battle that people often face. This is amplified by the imagery presented on the cover, for those thoughts and events may make someone feel like they are internally suffocating, and the cover solidifies that metaphorical concept. Another small comment to make about the cover is that the only colors represented on the cover itself are the colors black (for font purposes), and the rest is orange. This is interesting, for the color orange normally signifies determination, enthusiasm, encouragement, success, etc. This connects to the overall conceptual effort of the album, for as one makes their way through the album it is heard that as one makes their way through this mental battle there is a tiny sense of hope and most certainly determination, which is enhanced by that color symbolized on the cover. Overall, this is a very strong album cover standing alone as well as when one pairs it with the music, which makes this record a homerun from front to back.
*”Disease” was released on September 28, 2018 through Red Bull Records.