Review Summary: Ice Nine Kills use "Every Trick in The book", plus a little more.
A little on my history with the band. I became a fan when I first saw them at warped tour in 2014. The Screamed vocals from Frontman Spencer Charnas and Guitarist Justin deBlieck just instantly grabbed me as I thought they complemented each other so well. The instruemtns were punishing, their performance was great and i thought that they stood out a lot in a sea of generic metalcore and post hardcore. After seeing them I checked out their current offering "The Predator Becomes the Pray", but that is not to say they did not need room for improvement.
Now, here we are in in 2015 with "Every Trick in the book" .This is a nice step up from TPBTP. Mainly Because of the lyrics. Where INK fell a little bit flat on their last offering was the lyricism. Lines such as "I'm ***ing done with you" just felt a bit too stale and boring. But here, we have lyricism revolving around Famous stories, and Classic novels. We have songs about Romeo and Juliet, Stephen Kings 'Carrie' and even one of my favorite novels, 'Animal Farm'. Plus many more. Now, Speaking of the one about animal farm, 'The nature of the Beast' is a damn near perfect opener to the album. It starts slow, with an almost anthemic styled vocal approach from Spencer, and then the song explodes in an Aurora of strings, great instrumentation, and a superb vocal performance from Spencer.
The vocals are all around fantastic. Spencer has a great clean voice. He is recognizable, not too nazaly, and isn't too over produced (which is something that can't be said for a lot of bands in the genre). A lot of the clean sung choruses are done brilliantly, with some fresh hooks and great vocals. Songs that come to mind would be 'Alice', the single 'Me, Myself, and Hyde', and of course. The amazing standout track 'The nature of the beast'
Now, That's not to say the rest of the album does not have standout tracks. The erie and haunting song Communion of the cursed has a very spooky tone to it, as it is based on The Last Exorcist. Spencer manages to put a horroresqe sound to his vocals and it comes across very strong. Another would be 'Star Crossed Enemies', which is another strong track. It is about Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet' and is told in a heart breaking way as The the two embrace their last moments before their suicides. While there are a lot of standout tracks, great vocal perfromances, and some great instrumentation, espically for the genre...the album does have some weak points.
While The instrumentation can be damn good at times (such as guitar solos in tracks such as 'The Plot Sickens') it can also be a chug overdose at times. 'Me, Myself, and Hyde' sadly suffers from this in its kind of messy chug fest of a breakdown. While it doesn't take too much away from the song or the album too much, it is worth noting as it can be a little bit bothersome. Some tracks are also a bit weaker. I was sadly let down by songs such as 'Hell in the Hallways' and 'The Plot Sickens' as they did not do much to push for anything outside of just another Post Hardcore song (Aside from the nice guitar solo thrown into 'The Plot Sickens'). That's not to say they're bad though.
This album is their best yet, their most epic yet, and is all around well crafted . If you love INK you will certainly love this, if you don't really like INK, you may still find enjoyment out of this. There is a lot to like here. The story telling is spot on, and the album just sicks you in at times. You get engulfed with soaring vocals, intense unclean screaming from Spencer and Justin, and some epic strings in tracks like 'The Nature of the Beast'.
Rating, A high 4/ light 4.5.
-Spencers and Justin's Vocals
-Great Instrumentation (at times)
-Two lack luster songs
(Nothing to detract too much)