Review Summary: Everything that is wrong with music. Summed up in 13 songs.
It is no secret that metalcore as a genre has been mercilessly ripped apart and degraded for the better part of the last decade. With constant breakdowns in 4/4 signatures coupled with ‘riffing’ exclusively on the first few frets, the only thing more clichéd than the genre itself it seems is an opening paragraph of a review reminding the readers that metalcore in general is terrible. The Rest of Forever
is a band based out of Appleton, Wisconsin and with their first full length release, Written In Red
, we see the band try and emulate their icons in every single facet of their music. With influences such as Silverstein and Attack, Attack it is safe to say that their “vibrant and one-of-a-kind sound” is just a watered down knock off of every subpar metalcore band that has come before them.
Song titles such as Is Spellczech Off?
, Brony 2012
, or Here Comes Treble
make it painstakingly obvious this is a band who tries to have fun and encapsulate a certain sense of humor that ultimately comes across as forced and, quite frankly, not funny in the slightest. As one might be able to predict by the song titles, the songwriting on this release is akin to bands within the scene… That is, there are screaming verses with ‘sailing’ choruses, chanting and breakdowns thrown in as often as possible. The guitar parts written are without a doubt some of the most simplistic parts put on to a cd; most of these parts are open breakdowns or octave chord strumming. There is not a single guitar part found in 13 songs that even manages to peak an interest, which in turn forces the listener, to their dismay, to focus on the vocals.
There are two vocalists present on I Am Desolate. Hunter Rising is labeled as the screamer and Patrick Hogan takes care of the clean vocals. Both vocalists, while fully capable of performing what is asked, can best be described as average at best. Rising monotonously screams his way through song after song, with rare deviations from his range, causing nearly every single song to blend together. Hogan sings with a lack of passion throughout often times serving as a place holder until the next breakdown or what have you. But in this myriad of ceaseless mediocrity there is a shining light. As is the case with most metalcore bands, the most talented musician is their drummer. Trevor Hoffort creates the only thing worth listening to in every song, as he manages to employ moderately difficult drum patterns during otherwise mundane songs.
Often times with bands who struggle to write more complex and interesting music there is a certain sense of personal-ness or at the very least catchiness. Neither is found throughout the entire 13 tracks, making Written In Red one of the more frustrating listens, as most people will not manage to make it past the intro track. Everything that is wrong with the way metalcore has been watered down and diluted is exemplified in this release: ‘Ironic’ song titles that contain no sense of humor, no creativity in song structures or songwriting, very little skill of the musicians (except of course Hoffort), and breakdowns more often than not.