Review Summary: While the album can be enjoyable, it comes off as generic, uninspired and lackluster.
We've seen many bands, such as Bring Me The Horizon, Asking Alexandria or Sleeping With Sirens changing their sound drastically over the last couple years. As we all now, a band changing their sound completely can either be a hit or a miss, so what is the result for Memphis May Fire"
As you can see by the rating, it's more of the latter.
So first thing's first. I've been a fan of Memphis May Fire for quite some time, I even consider 'The Hollow' and 'Challenger' to be some of my favorite metalcore records of all time. I even enjoyed 'Unconditional', which was very criticized by it's preachy lyrics and the horrible mix, that thankfully has been fixed in the deluxe version. 'This Light I Hold' was a pretty good album as well, it had some truly amazing songs, such as 'Out Of It', 'Carry On' or 'Sever The Ties'.
Did the band's newest effort, 'Broken' live up to my expectations set by the previous records"
No, it didn't. I was pretty skeptical about the sound of the newest record when I first heard 'Virus' in 2017. I think they said that 'Virus' is just a one-shot single and that it doesn't represent the style of their next album. And while I admit that it's worse than most of the songs on the album, I'd say that it is in the same style.
When I heard the first and only single, 'The Old Me' (yes, this is the only single they've released, but I'll talk about it later), my expectations dropped, as very often the first single sets the tone for the whole album. What is kinda sad, is that this song is probably the best on the new album.
Since this album came out, I've listened to it like 5 times. I'll have to say that this album... is pretty damn boring, and that's something I'd never expect to find in a Memphis May Fire record. Most of the songs sound the same, and that could be the reason why there was only one single released prior to the release. Still, it's pretty f*cked up to no promote the album even a tiny bit.
But the truth is, no song on this record, except for 'The Old Me' is single-worthy. Well, maybe 'Who I Am' could also be a single, as it has a really catchy chorus, the verses are fast paced and aggressive (still no screaming tho) and the opening riff is pretty cool. But other than these two songs, I don't really see any potential singles.
Another song worth noting is 'You & Me'. It is a slower song, something Memphis May Fire always excelled at. But other than the fact that it's different than the rest of the album, there's nothing really special about it.
The closer, 'Live Another Day' has some interesting synths in it, that differentiate it from the other tracks, but apart from that it's pretty mediocre.
On the other hand, we have a song like 'Watch Out', which is probably the worst song on the album. Even though the chorus is pretty catchy, the song has really boring lyrics that we've already heard a 1000 times from this band. And there are extremely cringy chants ('WE RUN THIS TOWN!')
Musically, this album is nothing special. While the vocals are really good, the lack of screaming is what really hurts this album. Sure, there are some screams here and there, but it's not enough. I found myself expecting a scream somewhere in a song, and then it's just not there. For example, the beginning of 'Over It' would be perfect, if only there was a scream after the intro, instead of it just cutting to the chorus.
'Heavy Is The Weight' would be a good song, if not for the extremely out of place rap verse in the bridge. It completely kills the momentum of this song and it sounds like the guys just said: "Hmm, how should we fill up this empty space" I know! Let's just throw a rap verse there and call it a day"
Overall, this album can be enjoyable. The hooks are catchy, the riffs are okay, the lyrics are nothing special, but not that bad (except for Watch Out). But the sound of this album just screams "generic radio rock".
And that's pretty sad honestly, considering how full of talent this band actually is.