The Word Alive
Real


4.5
superb

Review

by P.J. Quinones USER (35 Reviews)
June 1st, 2014 | 107 replies | 11,268 views


Release Date: 06/11/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Flashiest metalcore album in far too long, and in the best way possible.

15 of 19 thought this review was well written

If you've been a fan of The Word Alive (TWA for short) since the EP days of Craig Mabbitt and Empire introducing Telle Smith, you're well aware that the boys in TWA aren't cookie cutter in the genre (unless you wanna be an asshole, then sure go ahead). Practically picking up where As I Lay Dying and Atreyu did with An Ocean Between Us and The Curse, this Arizona based group has more or less kept alive an anomaly of an ever-fluid genre: the riff. And furthermore, preserving the sanctity of the guitar solo whilst still tossing in the ever so popular breakdown. Deceiver lit a torch of hope for the fans of old as far as metalcore goes, so when Life Cycles dropped and didn't follow up as much with the hype of hard hitting tracks like The Hounds of Anubis, 2012, and We Know Who You Are that torchlight began to dim. Life Cycles never really garned the same amount of attention as its predecessor aside from the title track which was promptly added as a staple to the band's setlist (usually as a set ender) most likely due to Challenger by Memphis May Fire dropping around the same time. Well this time, REAL was given its own pedestal to be judged upon.

From the getgo we notice a vast improvement of singing by Telle and a much more methodical drumming approach by the Youtube drumming icon Luke Holland. Telle Smith started off as a mostly screaming type, with singing mainly for the sake of choruses besides a couple songs with a good amount of singing verses, but it was a surprise to see him belt out some nice notes on tracks such as Life Cycles and Astral Plane as LP2 came out. As a drummer, I was very happy to see that at least the two early tracks lived up to the hype of Holland's fame. But regardless of these two shining improvements to the band's recorded repertoire, the most exciting aspect to TWA's newest album is easily the much more technical guitars. Almost comparable to Trivium's Shogun (though not nearly as lengthy or dark), the guitar bravados in Zack Hansen and Tony Pizzuti take the album almost in its entirety (no pun intended) to shred away at any given chance.

In reference to the songwriting itself, it feels like the band very much hit their stride. You'd be hard pressed to find a recycled verse even with all of the flashy riffing throughout the record. No chorus is rehashed too often and all of them have their own personality which is a major tune-up where Life Cycles failed big time. The quality of the verses on Terminal shine the most by far, opening with powerful wails and a very dark chorus. The second chorus expands with a crazy wail from Telle and the song expands yet again with a strong yet short build-up verse between the second and third chorus which ends the song and is my personal favorite on the album. The anthematic nature of The Runaway, the brooding nature of Glass Castle and 94th St., and the ridiculous shredding on To Struggle and Claw My Way are a few more examples of some fantastic writing on the part of the band.

In conclusion, The Word Alive seems to have found a perfect niche of time in their still young careers to release an album because there are very few boring moments on the record. TWA is now their own brand of metalcore somewhere between the old and the new, channeling elements of Killswitch Engage or Trivium as well as blessthefall or We Came As Romans. They continue their mission to keep alive the highly endangered shred, yet sell well with the inclusion of well-placed breakdowns to appease the young'uns.

Rec'd Tracks: Glass Castle, Terminal, The Runaway, Your Mirage



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user ratings (95)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
pjquinones747
June 1st 2014



762 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Yooooo I'm back to review yet another "shitcore" album. Hope you enjoy the read, let me know what you think of the REVIEW. I don't care how you feel about the album. It's been a long time so my reviewing chops are all bent outta shape.

Digging: Opeth - Pale Communion

ConcubinaryCode
June 1st 2014



2031 Comments


I'll check this out. Empire was the last album of theirs I really dug but you put up a well enough case to check it out.

erizen826
June 1st 2014



467 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Is this streaming anywhere?

YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
June 1st 2014



1631 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Guess this must be pretty good. I'll check it out.

Digging: Sallie - Moonlight Detective

pjquinones747
June 1st 2014



762 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

erizen: currently no

to the other two of you, i'm glad my review has you wanting to listen! return once you've gone through it!

erizen826
June 1st 2014



467 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I hope it's good. I thought Life Cycles was pretty boring outside of the title track. That was a pretty good jam.

erizen826
June 1st 2014



467 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Damn I wanted to listen to this.

pjquinones747
June 1st 2014



762 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

If you thought Life Cycles was boring then trust me you'll be happy hearing what they've done here. So shreddy it's ridiculous. I got it the cost effective way although I plan on picking it up at the CD release signing at a record store in my town. Perks of living where the band calls home.

Calc
June 1st 2014



11984 Comments


hope you saved this review. the song i just listened to was pretty terrible so Ima pass on this.

Digging: Kashiwa Daisuke - April. #02

pjquinones747
June 1st 2014



762 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

It is saved. If you listened to one of the singles don't be so quick to judge because the record is definitely deeper than the singles. How much deeper can be yours to determine but still.

Azn.
June 1st 2014



5561 Comments


this is actually good? wut that's quite a leap

Digging: Trophy Scars - Never Born, Never Dead

Emim
June 1st 2014



26482 Comments


I'm sure this is about on par with everything else they've done.

Luke Holland is a beast, if not a bit douchey looking.

weedblunt
June 1st 2014



549 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

does this have juns?

pjquinones747
June 1st 2014



762 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

weedblunt, it has a few but there are so few in comparison to the actual shred that its okay

OverSlyZed
June 1st 2014



119 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The Fortune Teller is okay...the rest is meh

sspedding
June 1st 2014



4751 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

not as catchy as Life Cycles, not as technical as Deceiver. Pretty mundane listen all in all.

elbaliem
June 1st 2014



845 Comments


probably will check this later

matt1148
June 1st 2014



22 Comments


Forgive me for being dumb is this album actually good or is the review taking the piss (well writen by the way) just haven't heard anything good from these guys in ages.

TJM1992
June 1st 2014



6 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's definitely an improvement from Life Cycles (which I did enjoy). Hard to compare it to Deceiver,
but will say it is on that level just with a very different sound. Probably around a 4.2 if I could
rate it that

J0ckstrapsFTW
June 1st 2014



3652 Comments


Band has lost all relevance



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