Stray From the Path
Make Your Own History


4.5
superb

Review

by Connor Welsh USER (13 Reviews)
June 21st, 2010 | 39 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Stray from the Path might just make metalcore history.

It’s pretty standard these days, especially in the multitude of core subgenres to have a band name that doesn’t really have anything to do with the music you play or how you play it. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing: half of the bands I listen to on a daily basis I probably wouldn’t have checked out in the first place were it not for their zany names or out-of-place album titles. Stray from the Path, on the other hand, make good on what their name implies: straying from the “path” that so many metalcore bands commit themselves to these days.

Right off the bat, Make Your Own History seems deceptively standard. “Lucid Dreaming,” the album’s opener is a fairly standard mellow-turned-heavy intro track which, while sounding good, really only incurs the “oh, it’s one of these bands again. That feeling doesn’t last long, as you’re swung into the maelstrom that really opens the album--“Manipulator.” With the winding and nearly math-y opening guitar sequence and outrageously catchy hook. These, combined with some of the album’s best lyrics (“If misery loves company, maybe I’ll just sleep alone/If misery loves company, you can find me in a crowded room) make “Manipulator” the proper kick-start the album deserves.

Next up is “Negative and Violent,” which proves to be the album’s strongest track. Filled with angular, spastic guitar lines which feed off eachother and transition smoothly from part to part seamlessly. Laid over energetic and punchy drums and iced with a vocal style that some may find annoying, but I find to be a perfect balance between a high scream and schrill, visceral yell, "Negative and Violent" stands tall above the rest. While almost half of the song proves to be little more than a breakdown, it succeeds immensely in tying the raw emotion and power of the vocals into the rest of the music. Another super-star of the album, “Damien,” works in a similar way--using a stuttering start-and-stop chug sequence to connect with the vocals and make the two feel more “united” as opposed to just happening to be in the same song.

Make Your Own History keeps rip-roaring track after track without really ever slowing down--whether that’s a positive or not is really up to you. On one hand, it really keeps the album from getting monotonous"something that would easily happen if each track were three and a half minutes long. The band’s proneness to relapsing into heavy chugging segments and the "taboo" that is the breakdown is really only saved by short track lengths and incredibly strong and accessible lyrics overlaying them. On the other hand, such short track lengths really seem to keep the band from progressing into a fully developed song structure, and really never give you any time to stop and rest--if you stop paying attention for a second, you get left behind. None of this, however, seems to hurt Stray from the Path, as Make Your Own History isn't really weakened by the short an chaotic tracks.

None of this is to say that Stray from the Path’s Make Your Own History is without flaw. The short track length, while not necessarily a negative, may not be up your alley. Additionally, while the vocals are good, they rarely change pitch, and can make the lengthier songs feel a little cumbersome. All in all though, the quick, smooth yet needle-sharp guitar lines and loud, boisterous drums keep the vocals in check and stop them from taking over, despite the strong lyrics they contain. So if you’re feeling the need for either a quick track to pump you up enough to take on 15,000 5th graders, or an album to jam to on your way home, Make Your Own History delivers either way.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
xxKillWithASmile
June 21st 2010


240 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I know there are already two reviews for this, but it's one of my favorite albums, and I just felt compelled to review it.

ConsiderPhlebas
June 21st 2010


6157 Comments


Cool review

xxKillWithASmile
June 21st 2010


240 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks!

accompliceofmydeath
June 21st 2010


4255 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I don't think this album is worth a 4.5 nor does your review back it up. This seems more like hardcore with some math-y influences to me as opposed to metalcore. That being said, really well written review. Band rules.

Digging: New Found Glory - Resurrection

xxKillWithASmile
June 21st 2010


240 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Realistically, It's stuck between a 4 and a 4.5, but I felt giving it the 4.5 was more justified, because I couldn't come up with anything I really disliked about the album--just some things others might have an issue with. And I get the hardcore with some math-y stuff, it just feels more like metalcore to me--at least closer to metalcore than anything else. It's really tough to put a genre on. It isn't mathy enough to call mathcore, but i just don't think it's "straight forward" (i know the term sucks, but hopefully you get what I mean) to call it hardcore, and given the penchant for the breakdown, and aspects of the vocal style, I just went with metalcore--even though it is also far from perfect. That's my opinion at least.
Thanks though! Also 7 Angels 7 Plagues kick ass.

accompliceofmydeath
June 21st 2010


4255 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I definitely get what you're saying and I agree. 7A7P is amazing, thanks.

MrGlass
June 21st 2010


326 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

nice review. band needs more love on sputnik. this is one of my favorite hardcore/metal/whatever albums ever. it's catchy and aggressive and relentless all at the same time.

xxKillWithASmile
June 22nd 2010


240 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks dude! Yeah, recently they've been in pretty heavy rotation on my iTunes/Car stereo/music playing device.

Shadein
July 3rd 2010


337 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

one of my favorite bands, seriously, i'm glad there's a review like this for this album on sputnik

xxKillWithASmile
July 4th 2010


240 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I feel ya dude. It's one of my favorite albums. Also, TGI's Returners is awesome as tits. Nice dig, bro.

ANewTypeOfPunk
September 29th 2010


736 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this album kicks serious ass. love the vocals and guitars.

i also enjoy the originality it's nice

ANewTypeOfPunk
September 29th 2010


736 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I agree with you MrGlass, the unrelenting power of the vocals is incredible. For example, at the end of the track Comrades, I flat out shit my pants listening to it. It's crazy good

DinoX
December 31st 2010


3582 Comments


ya Vocals own hard. Almost reminds me a bit of Rage Against The Machine if they screamed.

pmmets07
July 14th 2011


5900 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just heard a song off this and all I could think of was letlive.

AfterTheBreakdown
July 14th 2011


7157 Comments


Not sure if i like this too much.

AfterTheBreakdown
July 14th 2011


7157 Comments


Not sure if i like this too much.

2muchket!
July 16th 2011


900 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is pretty fucking good.

Leatherneck
July 16th 2011


660 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

letlive really?, well they share that Glassjaw kind of flavor. fuck i love Glassjaw, good album btw

pmmets07
July 25th 2011


5900 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I really like this album, but it has it's cheesy moments. Ex: "So come on, keep your head in the game!" Loled when I heard that.

xxKillWithASmile
July 26th 2011


240 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, it gets a little cheesy, but ultimately, I really dig it. It's one of those things where maybe it just...doesn't phase me or something?



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