Review Summary: MIW add more junz but lose the fun
Breakdowns are very difficult to execute without causing eyerolling. Very few bands can pull it off with sheer brutality and even fewer bands can pull them off at all. On Motionless In White's debut album, the band had just discovered this neat little trick called 'atmosphere' which didn't place the burden of brutality on the downtuned guitar chugs. MIW had synths at just the right pitch, not being too ear-shatteringly annoying, and they were subtle
. Surely on their sophomore release, MIW will learn from experience how to craft metalcore that isn't blatant and boring, right?
To get a taste of what you're in for, listen to the first 45 seconds or so of Devil's Night
. The guitars are lower, the synths are melodic and the growls are more or less the same. Generic breakdown plods on until we get a pretty groovy riff. If you were like me, you'd swear this was the exact riff from "Psychosocial" from Slipknot. While not note-for-note, it's pretty damn similar, and you can tell that the actual musicianship on the album is going to be downplayed. When MIW doesn't sound like a Marilyn Manson (The Divine Infection
)/Slipknot (Devil's Night
) lovechild, fortunately, it's quite listenable. Chris Motionless' screams may have slightly degraded, but his cleans sound much better and more natural. Gone are the awkward high notes. He knows his range and doesn't try to push it, which is always a good thing.
The lyrics this time around are pretty much a continuation of Creatures. Cheap horror gimmicks and supposed 'gothic' imagery are all but lost this time around. Once again there's plenty of unnecessary profanity for all the kiddies to laugh at (hello If It's Dead We'll Kill It
), but the actual lyrics are standard as hell. Remember Immaculate Misconception? That was their vicious attack on tabloids and invasion of privacy. It was a dandy little tune and I thought it was a nice personal touch. Apparently he thought so too, so he wrote a continuation. Two of them actually. If you liked the material on Creatures, you'll have no problem with this.
The musicianship has been downgraded quite a bit on Infamous. The breakdowns are rarely more than 2 notes, and the keyboards are virtually gone, save for a cheesy synth loop every now and then. "But chodewarrior," you may ask, "the keyboards are what MIW are loved for! They were haunting and really put you in a mood!". Yes, they were. This time around, however, the band has taken an industrial metalcore type-turn. On Infamous, MIW have taken the lyrics from Creatures, the music from Slipknot, the breakdowns from August Burns Red and the vocal tone of Marilyn Manson. With all that being said, there are still some good moments here. Black Damask
and Burned At Both Ends
are fun and mindless heavy songs, and the Slipknot elements aren't too forced. Motionless In White's new change of style is sure to lose some, but if you go into the album with an open mind, you might find a song or two you may like, but I know the band is capable of quality metalcore. Please do yourself and favor and listen to Creatures if you haven't already.