Review Summary: Pure monotony.
Metalcore has become more and more involved with nu metal than anything nowadays, signaled by a resurgence in the dark rhythmic downtuned guitars, “edgy” lyrics, all black clothing, and near-rapped, screamed vocals synonymous with the style. Bands like Emmure and Attila have played with the sound over the years but it’s with the new breed of bands, such as King 810, Sylar, Cane Hill, and Fire From The Gods from this new somewhat “revival” of nu metal stylings that Sworn In really seem to cohabit. 2013’s The Death Card
exhibited some interesting and unique traits but were overcome with failed gothic attempts at lyricism and constant “bleghs” plaguing many of the better tracks off that album. As the band continued to move forward, dropping another full length and EP, they seemed to start to hit a period of devolution where their sound had become even more littered with the negative traits that were all over The Death Card
. With All Smiles
, there is seemingly no difference than what was to be expected.
The biggest thing that comes to mind while listening to All Smiles
all the way through, is just monotony. Pure monotony
. The album feels just like one big long Emmure cover. There is almost no difference between each one of these songs in structure, except occasionally the order which sections are placed; it’s the same Drop G riffs placed back to back with each other as the same repetitive screamed vocals from frontman Tyler Dennen which inevitably lead into a whiny clean vocal part, and then into a breakdown. Occasionally Sworn In will try shuffling these components around, and unfortunately those moments are probably the most unique and surprising All Smiles
has to offer. The guitars are so muddy in the mix that you can barely make out the beyond downtuned riffs that Eugene Kamlyuk puts on the table. Additionally, the bass and drums are mixed so poorly and produced so mediocrely it’s hard to even make a fair judgement of them, the bass almost inaudible and the drums sounding about as lifeless as my toenail.
To make matters worse, Sworn In also plunge the cesspool of lyrical inspiration on All Smiles
. Their efforts on previous releases were also really sub-par, but there are so many lines about “not giving a ***” or being so antagonistic towards everybody that it would make even a King 810 fan cringe. . There are questionable lyrics all over this thing, mostly with the same repetitive sayings of “feeling numb” or “emptiness” but then the next few tracks will pretty much only focus on the topic of pain, torture, and whatever 2 or 3 other negative feelings that come to Dennen’s mind. There’s essentially nothing to quote because almost every lyric feels the exact same as the last. It all seems to be about Dennen negatively looking back at himself for something (which is itself never explained), and then ‘strengthening’ his point with gratuitous, inexhaustive f-bombs. There is almost essentially no unique aspect of this record, bereft of originality in instrumentation, lyrics, and vocal stylings; the poor mixing and production only compounds its woes. Overall, All Smiles
seems to be an attempt at something new, but really just becomes an amalgamation of their contemporaries in the worst way possible, in one of the worst groups of contemporaries TO amalgamate your influences and style from. As I finish this up, I’m trying to find just one redeemable factor of this record but I’m genuinely left empty handed. Bands like Sworn In and albums like All Smiles
are what’s wrong with metal and hardcore today.