Review Summary: dreamo
Realistically you've got to say a lot of irritating redundant ass sh
it when discussing screamo from the late nineties and early two thousands so let's get all that out of the way real quick: this band was overlooked compared to their contemporaries, were criminally short-lived, they are one of approximately a million bands from the Richmond scene to have released a split with genre behemoths pg.99, they also released two full length albums of roughly equal merit, and they are really good and you should listen to them if you like screamo.
As far as bullsh
it metaphors go Majority Rule is definitely a hydra, each of its three equal heads championed by an instrument which constantly vie and writhe around one another, shifting and snapping at times for and against one another in a mesmerising blend of rivalry and co-operation; at times the instruments struggle for superiority to the point of cacophony only to step aside in the next few bars for one of the other instruments to take over driving the song, or to merge together into neat little jams, all with the kind of a eerie fluidity sort of like when you see a hydra regrow its head in Hercules or whatever. This shifting, angular songwriting gives the record a kind of jarring but visceral appeal consolidated by the fact that all of the band members are superb musicians, demonstrated by the lengthy instrumental sections in nearly every song. The intimidating aura of the hydra comes across in the dense, claustrophobic production which enhances the duality of the animosity and cohesiveness present between the instruments.
One shouldn't imagine that this is a cheap post rock-y screamo incarnation, however, while there are elements of post-etc in Majority Rule's music the long instrumental sections are often spacey jams or infectious grooves or even straight up dissonant riffdowns rather than boring build up to climax cop-outs. Veritable epic It's Too Late showcases this best, beginning by alternating between a darkly dreamy, grooving lament behind caustic screams, and intense tremolo riffs and powerful yells, before collapsing into a drum driven ascent into another fantastic propulsive riff, and ending in a lonely guitar soliloquy.
Bassist and main vocalist Kevin Lamiell sets himself apart from the vast majority (HEH) of his screamo contemporaries with one incredible secret: actually being able to scream properly. His throaty, acrid vocals wouldn't be out of place on a black metal record at times and on tracks like It's Too Late his lines can even be sing-a-long inducing ("There are times. When I dream of this. But not here. Not here."). He is backed up by guitarist Matt Michel whose solid gruff shout is admittedly less impressive but it adds another fearsome aspect to the hydra. With all of the band's aggression stripped away, instrumental track and album standout Are Forever may be a surprise on first listen with its luscious soundscapes, pensive chord progressions and euphoric tone, but it feels in no way out of place on the album and is one of the band's best tracks.
Despite their short career Majority Rule definitely have a unique brand of screamo, lacking none of the raw passion of other bands within the genre but blending it with intelligent, thought provoking songwriting and a pleasing penchant for restraint all beneath a brooding, restrictive atmosphere that leaves the listener with an incredibly rewarding listening experience.