Review Summary: It's pretty fucking good.
You’d think that after eighteen years, bands would begin to die out. Members leave, interest wavers, music stagnates. But there’s just something about Every Time I Die
and their infectious form of metal over the past two decades that has allowed them to maintain relevance. Chaotic, southern, groove, hardcore; whatever you call it, it’s damn good. And Low Teens
is no different. From the slow and heavy riff of opener Fear and Trembling
to the chaotic but measured entirety of closer Map Change
, Every Time I Die
continue to prove why they are still top of the game two decades on from their inception.
Although not as brutal as previous outing From Parts Unknown
, Low Teens
still maintains the band’s trademark aggression, but instead opts for more groove and southern influences, particularly in the riffs from guitar duo Jordan Buckley and Andy Williams. Whether it’s the fast-and-loud I Didn’t Want to Join Your Stupid Cult Anyway
or the math-esque Petal
, both show their prowess throughout, playing off of each other masterfully, never overstaying with riffs or breakdowns. The heavier tone of the guitars is contrasted well by both the bass of Stephen Micciche and drums of Daniel Davison. Although not as prominent as one would like, Micciche’s bass is meaty and provides a great backbone for the main riffs, especially on Two Summers
. Additionally, Davison provides a complicated but well-thought-out performance and shows his power as a drummer, particularly on Awful Lot
As always, Every Time I Die
would not be who they are without vocalist Keith Buckley. His distinct harsh vocals in conjunction with his much improved cleans adds a delightful amount of meat to the album, in particular with his lyricism. Speaking with Fuse TV
, Keith touched on the recent near-misses in his life and how it affected his lyrics for Low Teens
”Every Time I Die and the lyrics particularly have always been very tongue-in-cheek and metaphoric and playful, but they've never been honest, because that would require me to feel something. I think a lot of my lyrics are sort of a way of denying all this bad stuff was ever happening and I was just joking around with it. But this was very front and centre for me. It helped me to write some of the most honest lyrics I've ever done.”
His more direct approach to much of the writing for Low Teens
provides an incredible amount of emotion to an already full-on record. Eighth track Petal
and its repetition of “What haven’t I done/What have I done” mid-way through the song is surprisingly emotional and heartfelt, in addition to the lines “First I need to save the life of God/So that God can come and save me from myself”. Keith’s dealings with life in the past two years are present throughout the album, and it’s the better for it, feeling less like a party album and more like an ‘angry’ album. His forceful vocals are on full display, but it’s his clean vocals that show his maturity over the years. His performance on It Remembers
is mellow but measured, and works well in conjunction with Panic! At The Disco’s
Brendon Urie. Although a surprising combination, his soaring performance is a fantastic fit for the song, and shines through as a great guest performance.
From front to back, the mix of Every Time I Die’s
trademark heavy and groove elements combine to make Low Teens
one of the best albums of their careers, and surely of the genre for 2016. The chaotic nature of the instrumentals works so incredibly well with Keith’s vocals throughout, and even when everything is more subdued, the band hold their own so incredibly well.
In short, it’s pretty fu
Recommended Tracks: Fear and Trembling, I Didn’t Want to Join Your Stupid Cult Anyway, It Remembers, Petal, Map Change