Review Summary: Obey the Brave cling heavily to their motto "Not trying to reinvent the wheel. We keep it simple. We keep it real".
Obey the Brave is a new melodic hardcore/metalcore band out of Canada comprised of ex-members of Despised Icon and Blind Witness. This band sets out to make upbeat, crushing metalcore and is able to do so and well. Unfortunately, Obey the Brave does not seem set the bar for themselves very high and their work suffers for it.
For starters let me say I did enjoy this album. Like I said, this album is very good for the type of music it is, and I for one enjoy mindless beat-down metalcore. I understand that this genre of music has been repurposed and copied and watered down, but that does not mean this music cannot be enjoyable. This band first came to my attention through their music videos of "Get Real" and "Live and Learn". Get Real, my introduction to this band hits with a crushing riff and a guest appearance from Terror's Scott Vogel. The song checks all the boxes for good mindless mosh and on a whole is very enjoyable. The same can be said about the aforementioned Live and Learn. Alex Erian, ex-vocalist for Despised Icon does a good job on his shouts, albeit he does not have any range whatsoever, and the album has crisp sounding production. Along with the two previous songs I also enjoyed "It Starts Today" and my personal favorite is the closing track "Burning Bridges". Burning Bridges is more of the same from Obey the Brave but there is some nice atmospheric tones added into the song and has, in my opinion, the best breakdown of the album. After hopping around the album and listening to these four tracks I had high expectations and was ready for Obey the Brave to bring the ignorant mosh. However....
I then decided to listen to the album as a whole. Young Blood starts with the track "Lifestyle" and the first words heard by the listener are "Not trying to reinvent the wheel. We keep it simple. We keep it real". Sadly, Obey the Brave refuses to deviate from this formula which causes the album to grow boring and tiresome. Throughout the 32 minute album the listener is barraged with the same few song components until everything has grown cheesy and overdone. I'm sorry, but I'm not entirely sure I am excited to hear five Canadians in their 30s sing about "keeping it real" for eleven consecutive tracks. The album itself has many flaws, with the utmost being the lack of variation and originality. As I stated before, I am 100% down for ignorant brutality and energy, but Obey the Brave brings nothing new to the table with the tough guy mentality and constant breakdowns. Speaking of breakdowns, there are several times in the album where breakdowns essentially are reused and played in more than one song. That tends to happen when each song has at least a breakdown per minute. Although the production is nice and crisp, I feel like the album is over produced with far too many bass drops and effects, which can be grating. Also, there are some instances with unnecessary components like clean vocals and "Grim" is a 30 second filer track, no more than a clumsy hip-hop beat.
Overall the album feels overstretched and underdone. There are very nice moments on the album and there will be times when I chose to put these songs on and enjoy what Obey the Brave does. However, I feel the band ran out of ideas and would have been better served putting out an EP where they could focus best on what they do. I feel that I will only listen to certain songs on this album and ignore the rest, but there is something to be said for crushing breakdowns and sticking to your guns.