Every Time I Die – Gutter Phenomenon
It seems a long time ago now when Every Time I Die came out with ‘Hot Damn!’ which proved to be one of the greatest metalcore albums around and instantly projected them over their peers. But it was only a year ago, and after endless touring and a huge reputation building up behind them, they were quick to respond with this, their third full length album and their most user-friendly yet.
But most people could have easily guessed this before even hearing anything from it. Not only have they got “lighter” with every album, but they’re also become more popular. But this is by no means a bad thing. Ok, some purists and fans of earlier work will take this as a shock to the system at first; the trouble with the vast majority of Every Time I Die’s audience is that they claim to be the toughest crowd to please. But unlike many (worse) bands they haven’t even taken it into consideration. Like Dillinger Escape Plan’s ascendancy into ‘Miss Machine’, Every Time I Die has continued to make the music inspired by those that move them the most, regardless of what it would sound at the end.
Now, ETID have always been proud Guns and Roses fans, that’s been fairly obvious all the way through, but this is the most rock n roll album they have come up with to date, yet they have still kept the perfect balance between that and their sometimes unforgiving metalcore sound. This is proof if nothing else of a truly influential band. You are drawn in right from the start too, as ‘Apocalypse now and then’ opens up into a fast paced riffalicious mini-masterpiece; it is jaw-dropping if nothing else.
What’s most evident about their obvious push for the mainstream though is the promotion of the fact that Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance makes a guest appearance on this album. Bit of a hit or miss strategy to be honest. Some kids will pick this up and go “Eugh, he’s that Emo tosser, screw that!” but it’s them who will be missing out. Not only is this a fantastic album, but Gerard Way himself manages to prove his worth on latest single ‘Kill the Music’ where his vocal contribution is really quite something; arguably better than his own band. He isn’t the only face to make an appearance either, current side-project loving vocalist Daryl Palumbo of Glassjaw and Head Automatica also makes a fantastic contribution on one of Every Time I Die’s catchiest songs ever, ‘Champing at the Bit’.
While their proof of they’re obvious roots is kept all through the album, it is perhaps best shown in ‘Guitarred and Feathered’, a song that has been doing the works for sometime on internet land, but has now been re-recorded, re-produced and sounds absolutely fantastic. The heavy and frantic riffs are apparent all through this, while the band’s new direction sits happily within it too.
There’s no denying it, Every Time I Die have outdone themselves once again. Ok, so this isn’t as heavy as the purists would like it to be, it’s not ‘Hot Damn!’ But in all honesty, nothing ever will. So they have made the perfect decision to not try and do ‘Hot Damn!’ all over again, but to use it to make something just as new and exciting. Ok, the sudden shift in Keith Buckley’s vocals and lyrics may take some acclimatising, ok; there isn’t anything here that can match the ferocious single that is ‘Ebolarama’, but this still stands alongside ‘Hot Damn!’ as an equally amazing album, and if there is anyone showing the true potential of something really special and influential, it is these guys.