Motionless in White
Creatures


3.5
great

Review

by James Jaskolka USER (10 Reviews)
October 28th, 2010 | 266 replies | 38,454 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Motionless In White create a debut LP that shows they have more to offer than their peers, even if they're held back by old habits.

11 of 11 thought this review was well written

Motionless In White, a metalcore band hailing from my Pennsylvanian hometown, has caught the eye of the hardcore scene in the last two years. Between signing to Fearless Records, the 2009 release of their debut EP “When Love Met Destruction” and a spot on last summer’s Thrash and Burn along with Born Of Osiris and Asking Alexandria, the sextet has been practically catapulted into the much-talked-about status in venues and high schools across the country. “Creatures” is MIW’s debut full length, and it showcases the maturation of the band, as well as a surprising potential to stand out from the dozens of other cheap metalcore acts.

Motionless In White is:
Chris Ceruli – Vocals
TJ Bell – Guitar / Vocals
Ricky Olson – Bass
Josh Balz – Keyboards
Ryan Sitskowski – Guitar
Angelo Parente – Drums

There are several noticeable improvements on Creatures, the most prevalent being Ceruli’s drastically improved vocals. Sounding before like a bad impression of Rise Record’s entire roster, the frontman has increased his range to high shrieks, more natural sounding growls and a very aggressive mid. The harsh vocals are definitely one of the band’s strongest assets, at times even sounding reminiscent of Trevor Strnad (see the tortured verses of “Abigail”). However, the greatest thing I can possibly say about this band is they are learning how to make music heavy, and not by chugging on drop C tuned guitars or slowly beating your face in with breakdown after breakdown. No, MIW are learning the subtle art of atmosphere thanks to secret weapon Josh Balz.

The oft-overlooked keyboard player is the most powerful thing this band has to offer. Instead of layering tired riffs with cheesy dance beats or synth loops, Balz allows his signature style of haunted choir-esque keys to blend amongst the madness, creating a density that greatly surpasses anything the band has done before. From the eerie backdrops in “Scissorhands (The Last Snow)” to the simply fantastic breakdown melody of “Count Choculitis”, Balz shows that sometimes blending in is for the best.

The overall musicianship has improved vastly. Creatures shows the band kicking up the intensity, making everything tighter, faster, and harder. Even breakdowns that can easily be considered generic hit with a strength that is rarely seen in the hardcore scene. The overall musicianship has improved drastically, with more sophisticated riffs and more complex chugging patterns. Experimentation is welcomed with breaths of fresh air (“City Lights”) and two songs switching into 6/8, a time signature rarely attempted by MIW’s peers. The band has even improved lyrically, and although they still throw out a few cheeseball and uncomfortable lines, the majority of it shows serious passion. Album opener “Immaculate Misconception” seems to be a direct shot at the metalcore scene, openly calling out the trend of Christian hardcore that may be just that"a trend. “I’ve seen so many of you come and go/because you’re in it for all the wrong ***ing reasons/you can’t expect to live off of lies and survive” Ceruli roars, just before the eyebrow-raising “I don’t care if this offends you or your worthless God.” Nobody can deny that MIW take themselves very seriously.

Although Creatures fights a hit and miss battle against the plagues of modern metalcore, the album does fall victim to some rather tragic circumstances. Yes, the breakdowns are more complex and more intense, but there’s still quite a few of them. While they all may be preformed well, there’s no doubt that they would be ten times more powerful if they were used more sparingly. Another unfortunate addition is the over-production that the scene has become all too familiar with. It doesn’t necessarily get in the way of songs (The chorus of “Cobwebs” is still very catchy), but it hinders the band from realizing their full potential. For the title track, the band felt as if they should include fans by having them submit their own lyrics to be a part of the record. The entire concept of that is one that I respect and understand, but the results offers some laughingly bad and awkwardly mixed lines. There are some gems submitted, but with the hundreds of emails received, there’s no way the best they could find was “I tried to drown my sorrows/but instead they’re all drowning me.”

Overall, Creatures is a record that shows improvement, as well as room for some more. It’s honestly worth listening to a few times, if not only the key songs. Hopefully Motionless In White will take the road less traveled again for LP2, eliminating the things that still hold them back. “The past is the past, and I’m letting it kill me.”

Pros:
Drastically improved screams
Keyboards add unique atmosphere
Lyrical concepts

Cons:
Over-production
Breakdowns hit hard, but are lessened by their over abundance.

Listen to:
Immaculate Misconception
Cobwebs
City Lights
Scissorhands (The Last Snow)
Count Choculitis



Recent reviews by this author
Think Big! Losing GroundHawthorne Heights The Silence in Black and White
The Wonder Years The UpsidesWe Came As Romans To Plant a Seed
Motionless in White When Love Met DestructionA Day to Remember Homesick
user ratings (466)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
P.J. Quinones (4)
Motionless In White upgrades their dirty punk metal sound to a unique brand of breakdown-heavy metal...

BatmanDTW (3.5)
Motionless In White makes a pretty impressive album, but still nothing out of the ordinary....

DivineComedy (3.5)
Overtly ‘hit and miss’ in a style where ‘hit’ shouldn’t even be a plausible outcome....


Comments:Add a Comment 
eatmorchickin
October 28th 2010



76 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

puppets and .com pt 2 are my favorites

eatmorchickin
October 28th 2010



76 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

and good review, pos'd

bloc
October 28th 2010



34660 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Great vocals, sub par music.

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

AbyssalCreation
October 28th 2010



2041 Comments


I liked the song they released that has Nick Brooks. It was generic, but really fun.I might check this
out.

Digging: Renounced - The Melancholy We Ache

Jaskolkaaa
October 28th 2010



330 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It was Abigail
and it's worth a spin, a lot of songs are pretty cool.

ANewTypeOfPunk
October 29th 2010



736 Comments


is this actually good? i only listened to like 2 songs and thought it sounded generic as hell.

10barnesj
November 3rd 2010



19 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

held back by missing parts and sub par lyrics. but they've got a great sound so hopefully they'll put it together for their next effort.

personal favorite: Count Choculitis

AbyssalCreation
November 3rd 2010



2041 Comments


Almost done with my first listen of this album, and it's pretty solid.It reminds me of a cross of It Dies Today and Bleeding Through.

jrowa001
November 28th 2010



8750 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

got me a motionless in white shirt. pretty cool.

crsini
November 28th 2010



93 Comments


Yeah, people do. It's a pretty solid debut. Band members are some of the nicest I've met, as well.

Protip: the fact that you rated Brokencyde higher than this shows you're a bit unfit to be trashing on music.

Jaskolkaaa
November 29th 2010



330 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Wtf what just happened

Jaskolkaaa
November 30th 2010



330 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

LOL

DeafMetal
December 9th 2010



8584 Comments


The fucking gayest bullshit I've ever heard.

PinkBlackberry
December 23rd 2010



2346 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

So I'm going to be quite honest and say I really, really like this album..it's been getting a lot of play time and it's pretty fun over-all, super serious which is weird as hell for a metalcore band, Imho.

PinkBlackberry
December 23rd 2010



2346 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

and yes, I am quite aware that I used fun, and serious in the same sentence.

and yes, I am also quite aware I am double posting.

and yes, I am also really quite aware it's still sitting at a 3.

Atticus808
December 25th 2010



16 Comments


hmm....I just listened to like 2 songs and they seem to just have breakdown after breakdown which makes me think they're a plain generic metalcore band...can anyone prove me wrong?

DeafMetal
December 25th 2010



8584 Comments


No you're right, they're shit.

PinkBlackberry
December 25th 2010



2346 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

mmmm, breakdowns.

BallsToTheWall
December 25th 2010



44164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Band is bringing back crabcore, they are saviors of modern gothcore.

BallsToTheWall
December 25th 2010



44164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Or AFI.



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