Of Mice and Men
Cold World


2.0
poor

Review

by Zachery Cotto USER (22 Reviews)
September 3rd, 2016 | 394 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Lacking identity and heart, Cold World is just as its name implies.

Have you fully sat down and listened to a record that just felt empty and emotionless at its core? As if there was no genuine spirit or life put into the final product? Sure, certain albums embrew clear disdain for some and joy for others. And given constant differing tastes and opinions on what is good or bad, it is clear that music is subjective by nature. But that aside, an artist's delivery is key and if the musicians in question don’t seem to take much care into the work they do, the pieces they create can come off as meaningless. Of Mice and Men’s senior album Cold World seems to embody just that: Meaninglessness.

Directionless and flaccid. Those are ways to best describe the conglomeration of tracks on this project, from beginning to end. From the grossly toned and trivial bass-line that opens the album on the track “Game of War”, to the closing low tuned guitar note on the final track “Transfigured” Cold World lacks any passionate delivery from every facet of it’s music. As many of the songs on their last record Restoring Force alluded to, Of Mice and Men have headed in a softer and more traditional Nu-Metal direction on this album. While their new venture into this genre could have been done well, it instead lacks any originality or unique traits to speak of.

No noticeable performance, polish or care is put into any of Cold World’s sound. All of the guitars emit a feeling of deja vu, emulating the popping, boggy low-tuned ‘bounce-riffs’ that have been prominent in many Nu-Metal and metalcore acts in the last two decades. The drum work is simplistic and never takes charge in the mix and the band's usage of electronic tools are complacent and add no substance to the other instrumentals.

On top of this, the band’s frontman and singer/screamer Austin Carlile has adopted a new vocal style here that lacks any sincerity or emotion in the way it’s presented. Instead of coming full-force with his established high-pitched, throat shredding screams, he often opts to showcase this strange, new hybrid of singing, screaming and growling that doesn’t fill the gap left from the absence of his established norm. He also tries to develop a new role as the band’s singer on Cold World and that decision is questionable considering how subpar his singing is, especially in comparison to the band’s other vocalist, Aaron Pauley. The constant vocal trading and harmonizing between the two on certain tracks like “Transfigured” or “Like a Ghost” doesn’t work as well as the band intends and this ends up leaving the core of their new direction as being a failed experiment.

A good number of the songs are difficult to distinguish from one another and it can be hard to name a highlight during the entire hour-long project. Songs like “Contagious,” “Relentless,” The Hunger” and “Away” show the band's attempt at trying to capture the sound of many other prominent Metal and Nu-Metal acts such as Korn, Disturbed, Breaking Benjamin and Tool and the result is them losing the identity they once had as Of Mice and Men. On the contrary, the song “The Lie” is the last hint of the band holding on to their Metalcore sound. It’s also the only track that plays to the strength of their new direction, mixing both their old and new sound together in an eclectic fashion.

If there’s any way to summarize the album as a whole, it’s the vapid and meaningless instrumental track “-.” The track has no identity, it has no reason to be on the record and it feels like it was placed in with little effort. That’s Cold World in a nutshell: Generic, complacent Nu-metal that lacks any key identifying sound or notable characteristics. Of Mice and Men seem to be running on autopilot on this record and the end result shows. Cold World has no heart, no soul and is as lifeless as it’s name implies.



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user ratings (363)
1.8
poor
other reviews of this album
Shamus248 (2)
I don't even care that Of Mice & Men all but completely abandoned their core sound; my issue is it's...

TheCalebRobinson (1)
'Cold World' is not only Of Mice and Men's worst album to date, but is one of the worst albums of 20...

tom994 (2)
A weak album that smacks of complacency...

EllderSwan (1)
Just, what?...


Comments:Add a Comment 
ZachNyeScienceGuy
September 3rd 2016


177 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Purchase the album here:



https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/cold-world/id1128861581

Valkoor952
September 3rd 2016


2774 Comments


Can the album's name be any more generic ?

Otherwise a good review. pos.

FullOfSounds
September 3rd 2016


15772 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Great review, pos.

Definitely not listening to this. I can't even get through The Flood and a lot of people like that one. :/

seant23
September 3rd 2016


5 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

Restoring Force's re-release was absolutely fantastic and still has some of my favorite songs on it. Just a great record. This album.... I just don't get what they were going for. It's almost like Austin said fuck it and decided he didn't want to be famous anymore. Like self-sabotage. There are very few albums that make me go "wtf?" but this is one of them. So disappointing. I love radio rock bands like Breaking Benjamin, Disturbed, and Three Days Grace and even I can't find any redeemable qualities in this.



I'm just going to pretend this doesn't exist.

FullOfSounds
September 3rd 2016


15772 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Fuck it, I'm gonna listen to this because ???.

FullOfSounds
September 3rd 2016


15772 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

His vocals sound horrible

William21
September 3rd 2016


499 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Haven't listened to it yet, but the singles so far have been pretty bad so I don't have high hopes for this. Jeez this band has fallen apart.

FullOfSounds
September 3rd 2016


15772 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

It's barely even metalcore anymore

AsleepInTheBack
September 3rd 2016


6045 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

It's that bad huh? Shame.

Sinternet
September 3rd 2016


20782 Comments


worse than restoring force? oh dear

Digging: Andy Stott - It Should Be Us

FullOfSounds
September 3rd 2016


15772 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

We need to balance out those two 5s more.

Snide
September 3rd 2016


7050 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Gotta listen to this.

FullOfSounds
September 3rd 2016


15772 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Did you like the singles

sempiturtle
September 3rd 2016


1546 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

The Lie and Pain are good and I actually kinda liked Game of War but the rest ranges from boring to outright awful.

...and I liked Restoring Force.

FullOfSounds
September 3rd 2016


15772 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Game of War was good until it got boring. The Lie is probably the only decent song, his vocals are just so weak.

ZachNyeScienceGuy
September 3rd 2016


177 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

I didn't mind Pain, but the other two singles weren't good.

FullOfSounds
September 3rd 2016


15772 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I don't like Pain at all.

hobblepot
September 3rd 2016


2386 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

This album is almost cringeworthy. It's pretty pathetic tbh

Snide
September 3rd 2016


7050 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Pain was bad but I dug Contagious and Real so I hope I dig this.

Presence
September 3rd 2016


92 Comments


Listened to Real and couldn't even finish the track. Singing is so subpar and instrumentation hasn't improved with the new direction they've taken.



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