Review Summary: A few missed opportunities and moments of immaturity weigh down an otherwise excellent album.
'Graveyard Shift' is an album that will certainly divide fans of Motionless In White. There were plenty of people hoping for a return to their roots; hoping that Motionless In White would return to their original style of gothic, breakdown-filled metalcore. In fact, lead singer Chris Motionless said in an interview recently that 'Graveyard Shift' would be the album that reminded listeners that Motionless In White was a "heavy band." With that being said, this album moves forward in the direction that 'Reincarnate' had them going, while offering only a few songs reminiscent to their 2010 debut. Your enjoyment of the record will likely depend on how that statement makes you feel.
The album starts off solidly enough with 'Rats.' It features a good combination of industrial synths and a catchy chorus. The lyrical content however can be pretty polarizing. 'Rats' isn't the only track off 'Graveyard Shift' to feature sexually-themed lyrics. In fact, 'The Ladder' and 'Not My Type: Dead As F**k 2' both feature references to Chris Motionless' apparent sex life, with the ladder being the biggest example of this. Take the chorus of 'Not My Type,' for example:
"She loves me 'cause I like to give head like a zombie
(Eat eat eat!)
Till her insides are on me."
To a certain degree, the lyrics of this style can be fun to listen to, but there's a point during which it becomes a bit much. For the most part however, the songwriting is stellar. 'Queen For Queen,' 'Soft,' and 'Eternally Yours' are all examples of well written tracks, and all three songs are album highlights because of it.
There are songs off the album that feel like Motionless In White is attempting to get songs played on the radio, and they surprisingly work well. 'Queen For Queen' might be one of Motionless In White's most radio-friendly songs to date, and actually features some of the best energy and instrumental work on the whole album. Other songs though, like 'Loud (F**k It)' feel like attempts to get on the radio that didn't quite work as well. Not that every radio-friendly song is bad, but songs like 'Untouchable' and 'Necessary Evil' feel forgettable and sometimes boring.
'Necessary Evil' is by far the biggest missed opportunity on 'Graveyard Shift.' The song features Jonathon Davis for guest vocals, and is a somewhat decent song until the chorus. "It's my party and I'll die when I want to" is by far one of the most cringe-worthy lines on this whole album. 'Necessary Evil' is probably the only song off the album that's ruined by the lackluster chorus.
While the record takes some steps in the radio-friendly direction, there are some songs that feel like Motionless In White doing what they did seven years ago. 'Soft' is one of the heaviest songs off the album, with biting lyrics and a very energetic drum beat and guitar riff. '570' and 'The Ladder' are two of the other heavier songs off 'Graveyard Shift' and join songs like 'Soft' and 'Queen For Queen' as the best songs off the record.
'Graveyard Shift' is weighed down most by its inconsistencies. At least seven or eight of the songs off the album are songs I could see myself listening to for a long time, but it's because of the few cringe-worthy moments in between that the album doesn't reach its full potential. On the bright side however, there is a lot of fun to be had listening to this record. The vocals, songwriting and instrumentals have all taken steps forward (for the most part) and Motionless In White has an exciting future ahead of them if they continue to improve.
Hits: Rats, Queen For Queen, Soft, The Ladder, 570, Eternally Yours
Misses: Necessary Evil, Untouchable, Loud (F**k It)