Review Summary: If nothing else, Future Revisionists proves that even the worst bands can take an unexpected turn for the better.
Had Future Revisionists
been released anonymously, it would’ve been virtually impossible for it to be traced back to Liferuiner. All members of the band sans the vocalist are newcomers. Stylistically it sounds nothing like their previous material; in fact the only trait it shares with their other work besides the band name is that it falls under the metalcore umbrella, albeit on the opposite end of the spectrum. Future Revisionists
completely disregards the “brocore” formula the group used in the past. Breakdowns now play a much smaller role, only appearing once or twice a song if that, the chord progressions (yeah, they play chords now) and use of melodic leads eliminate any Emmure similarities of their early work, and the drumming is firmly rooted in the punk side of metalcore, making Future Revisionists
their most upbeat and fastest release by far. The songwriting has substantially improved as well – though technically it couldn’t have improved if it wasn’t there in the first place, but they actually flesh out their ideas into coherent songs and surprisingly avoid the crutch of mainstream song structures.
The real kicker is that the songs are actually good. Liferuiner finally grasp the concept of dynamics and flaunt this newfound skill in almost every track. Opener ‘Vacant’ could’ve been a B-side off Cult of Luna’s Salvation
, beginning softly with atmospheric guitars and ominous background screaming, then eventually toying with the soft-hard dynamic during its heavy bridge section and outro. The straightforward ‘Waivered Lives’ and ‘Feeling/Meaning’ take pages from the melodeath book with catchy choruses, abrasive riffs and the like. ‘Fissure’ is the best example of their refined songwriting ability – it begins in a standard -core fashion with distorted jabs and punk drumming, but as the song progresses it becomes noticeable that Liferuiner rarely repeat an idea more than once. What's impressive is that not for one moment does a riff or interlude sound disjointed or out of place (besides the breakdown but that goes without saying). All the transitions are so smooth up to and including the song’s climax that it never fails to hold your attention through its duration.
The problem with Future Revisionists
is that it falls into the same traps many modern metalcore bands do – generic breakdowns and outstanding lack of diversity. Contrary to the brodown infested songwriting technique used on their first two full-lengths, breakdowns are used sparingly, but when they do appear they almost consistently break the momentum of whichever song they’re in. They always feel shoehorned in as if to please their original fanbase when all they really do is alienate new listeners from their fresher and, let’s face it, better
take on metalcore. Also aside from the post-metal tendencies in ‘Vacant’ and the minute-and-a-half punk banger ‘Savages’, the songs do little to differentiate themselves from each other, the lines often blurred as to when one finishes and another begins. Future Revisionists
also suffers from a static vocal performance. Johnathan O’Callaghan has a powerful scream reminiscent of Coalesce's Sean Ingram and easily decipherable lyrics, but it becomes monotonous after the first few songs since it’s the only type of vocals present (aside from the occasional gang chant) throughout the album’s runtime.
At a modest 34 minutes, Future Revisionists
is an easily digestible listen, with even the longer songs barely pushing the 4-minute mark. From the dissonant ‘Fissue’ to the melodic closer ‘Self Purgatory’, no song ever overstays its welcome, each being its own compact beast. Realistically Future Revisionists
contributes little to the (d)evolution of modern metalcore, but if nothing else it serves as hard evidence that even the worst bands can take an unexpected turn for the better.