Review Summary: As painfully average as average can possibly be. At least they don't have synths, though...
Rise Records has had a recent history of pumping out generic, faux-metal bands since the inclusion of The Devil Wears Prada to their roster in 2006. Each band thereafter, with very few exceptions, have served up the same generic metalcore sound. There seems to be hardly any variety as far as these bands go (once again, with very few exceptions). Like Moths to Flames is unfortunately no exception to this generic, rise-core sound. This debut offers hints of slight progression as a band, albeit lacking any type of complexity whatsoever.
Like Moths to Flames is the brain-child of former Agraceful (and Emarosa) vocalist, Chris Roetter. Roetter teamed up with musicians from the metalcore outfit, Terrafirma, to round up the 5-piece that is Like Moths to Flames. Very much like their Rise counterparts The Plot In You, The Color Morale, and My Ticket Home, Like Moths to Flames just brings nothing new to the table, at all.
Unfortunately, each song suffers from the same annoying qualities. There is not one song on here that doesn't include an unnecessary amount of dissonance and clean vocals. Primarily, each song starts off with a generic, metalcore riff, and then collapses into a melodic mess. The clean vocals in each of these songs are forced, and really don't help the music at all. Songs like "No Hope", "Something to Live For", and "My Own Grave" are plagued by this problem. To be honest, some of these songs would be completely passable as straight-forward metalcore, had they not been ruined by the appearance of awful clean vocals. The dissonance factor tends to speak for itself.
In addition to the cleans, this album suffers from absolutely no varied song structure at all. Each song features the intro riff-verse-chorus-verse-chorus-breakdown formula. This is nothing new in the world of rise-core, but it is still annoying nonetheless. Breakdowns are also aplenty, obviously. Truthfully, they all share a similar mediocrity. There may not be one that stands out more than the other, they just sound inexhaustibly dull and similar.
The guitar parts are sufficiently generic, and heavy. The only real comparison I can think of, are to the guitar parts of Bring Me the Horizon. The "wall of sound" technique is in constant use here, for there is always a low guitar riff lurking in the bottom of each mix. "My Own Grave" offers a bit of diversity, as far as the guitar goes, in the early part of the song. Expect many chugs, for that's the majority of what you will get. I don't think that's a huge surprise though.
The couple of songs that stand out as different ("Your Existence" and "GNF") are ironically the songs that feature llittle, to no clean vocals at all. The latter features a small snippet of Roetter's cleans before diving down into a dissonant breakdown. Quite a commonplace of this album, as you will eventually find out. In addition to those two tracks, the intro track, "The Worst In Me" is actually catchy enough to gain a bit of replay value, and stands as one of the best on the album.
Aside from the aforementioned problems, the music is generic, simple, and borders enjoyable at some rare points. Roetter's growl is a driving point of this album, and adequately breaks through and takes center-stage at some points. You can tell that the drummer is talented, as he always seems to be in the middle of a fill, or a complex double-bass pattern.
"When We Don't Exist" is not horrible. It's just too average to be considered anything else. With more overall originality, and a stronger musical diversity, Like Moths to Flames has the potential to improve, drastically. Overall, just an average album.