Review Summary: Infamous by As I Lay Dying, Bleeding Through, Marilyn Manson, Unearth, Darkest Hour, MyChildren MyBride, Bring Me the Horizon, Demon Hunter, and others.
There comes a time in everyone’s life where a change must be made. This is for various reasons. For some it may be because someone feels like changing, or they feel like a change is necessary. This brings with it the old adage of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Motionless in White on the other hand, seem to be completely oblivious to these words of advice. The Pennsylvanian natives produced a very well-written and rightfully so well-received debut album under the title of Creatures. Creatures was unusual for its genre; rather than going with the bombardment of breakdowns strategy most metalcore bands use and abuse, Motionless in White distinguished themselves through the masterful use of keyboard elements that helped raise Creatures to a whole new intensity level.
Infamous opens on a familiar note for Motionless in White fans – a creepy piano intro. And then, as if directly out of an old school hardcore record (namely the band Terror), Chris Cerulli opens with a hateful “bleh!” Black Damask then proceeds into a drop B hardcore groove very reminiscent of Bleeding Through (a hardcore band from Orange County, California that Chris quotes a major influence on Motionless in White). A writhing background guitar follows under the pre-chorus and once the chorus arrives the improvement in Chris’ singing voice is immediately noticeable. The song closes with a very effective black metal riff and an oddly Demon Hunter sound passage is sung by Chris. Devil’s Night mirrors the same song structure starting off with a keyboard intro, going into a hardcore/groove riff, and then progressing into a chorus. However, any fan of modern metalcore can’t help but make connections between other bands of the genre and even some one of another genre. In fact, most connections are completely justified because Motionless in White boldly make complete rip offs of certain bands. Most notably throughout the entire album is Marilyn Manson. Minus a few obvious Motionless in White screaming parts, A-M-E-R-I-C-A, The Divine Intervention, Infamous, and Hate*** could easily feel right at home in Marilyn Manson’s discography.
It is one thing to acquire a sound similar to certain artists and implement them into your songs, but it is another thing to completely shove nearly identical parts of someone else’s music into a song. Burned at Both Ends is an excellent example of this. While a decently written song, it just screams an As I Lay Dying song with a Darkest Hour chorus. And the insulting thing is that Motionless in White doesn’t even try to hide it. In that entire song there is a total of about ten seconds of “Motionless in White.” But that begs the question, what is Motionless in White’s sound exactly? While there a substantial increase in industrial influences in this album, after the first two songs the rest of the album really isn’t Motionless in White. Rather, it is a hodge-podge of a multitude of metalcore bands throughout the last decade.
With all of this review so far being negative comments, it would be unfair to dismiss the listenable parts of this album. The first two tracks as a whole make for an enjoyable listening experience mainly because Motionless in White wrote the vast portions of these songs. Also worth mentioning are the songs Sinematic, and If It’s Dead We’ll Kill It. These are a nod to the Motionless in White shown on their previous album.
Sinematic resembles City Lights from Creatures in the way that it is the only slow song on the album and it contains a longer time signature than 4/4. However, Sinematic isn’t a copycat of City Lights; rather, it is a revised version for the new album because instead of focusing on an acoustic guitar arrangement, it is mainly derived of an industrial section.
If It’s Dead We’ll Kill It by and by is nothing innovative for metalcore, but on this album it really stands out. Also, had it not been for the industrial intro, this song would have made an excellent addition to Creatures. Unfortunately, what becomes evident in this song is the extremely liberal use of the “f-bomb.” Again, this is trend common in most metalcore bands of recent knowledge, but once used a rumored number of over eighty times in an album, it really gets old. There are other, more intelligent ways to communicate anger and frustration.
On Infamous, Motionless in White seems to forget why people listen to a certain band at a certain time. They listen to a band because the specific mood that they are in coincides with the band’s music. When a band decides that they will shamelessly copy and paste parts of other bands songs into theirs and call it an “album,” they are losing sight of this. While the main reason why Motionless in White implemented all of their influences into one album was to progress as a band, they are a perfect example that how a band goes about their change also matters. Even though the album has its shining moments, these do not last the duration of the album and Infamous becomes a pitiful attempt at the combination of many metalcore bands with Marilyn Manson and wears down as the album spins.