Spiritbox
Rotoscope


4.0
excellent

Review

by Mateo Ottie CONTRIBUTOR (32 Reviews)
June 23rd, 2022 | 191 replies


Release Date: 2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Obsidian, but good.

The hottest band in metalcore right now, Spiritbox have dropped a surprise three song project titled ‘Rotoscope’ today, which is their first release since their debut full-length album ‘Eternal Blue’ last fall. ‘Rotoscope’ is a fantastic change of pace for the Canadian outfit, subverting the expectations many had for the band’s future releases. Departing heavily from the polished metalcore of the band’s prior work, the tracks have a heavily industrialized take on the band’s current sound combining ominous synthesizers and groovy, devastatingly low-tuned guitar riffage from Mike Stringer.

Adding to the djentified industrial metal sound of the release, on most of the three songs there are layers of distortion on Courtney LaPlante‘s vocals, which mesh perfectly with and texturize the electronic-laden instrumentation throughout the project’s runtime. LaPlante’s delivery during the chorus of the hypnotic “Rotoscope” is mesmerizing, feeling like an extension of the instrumentation in the best way. The digitalization of Spiritbox’s signature sound is striking, in a good sense of the word, playing more to the band’s strengths as a unit than weaknesses.

The tracks feel more subdued than usual for the band, with choruses accenting other parts of the songs rather than the verses accenting the choruses. The rhythmic and repetitive “Sew Me Up” exemplifies this, as the track stays consistently down-tempo for its entire duration, with the hardest-hitting moment in the track being the driving guitar riff during the verses. The song’s wide and atmospheric chorus relieves the aggression set in its preceding verses, but never overshadowing them- almost feeling like an extension of the verses in of itself. Despite the less bombastic and more lowkey nature of many of the release’s chorus sections, it is by no means lacking in heaviness, the closing breakdown of “Hysteria” for example, is one of the most chaotic and heaviest breakdowns the band has ever released and is serves as one of the moments on the record.

Everything about ‘Rotoscope’ feels like a jolt to the system, shocking even some of the band’s most dedicated fans with newfound sonic direction heard instantly on the opening moments of “Rotoscope”. it feels like Spiritbox doing exactly what they want to, re-surging with passion and much-needed experimentation following the lengthy, almost year-long rollout of ‘Eternal Blue’ last year. While certainly not the first band to try a hand at a version of industrialized metalcore, In fact, it’s almost a trend by this point, but unlike many other heavyweights in the genre attempts, Spiritbox’s execution not only feels more genuine, but also engaging and intriguing, which are things that many who have gone down this route have found themselves lacking in (looking at you, Northlane). If these singles are a taste of what’s to come, I’m interested to hear what the band has in store in the future on their next effort.



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user ratings (228)
3.2
good


Comments:Add a Comment 
JayEnder
June 23rd 2022


20170 Comments


Nice but the Big Obsiddy slander is unacceptable

goonmob
June 23rd 2022


153 Comments


I dig these tracks more than their last album, love the change.

OwMySnauze
June 23rd 2022


2538 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

So now they turned industrial nu metal… good riddance.

MarsKid
Emeritus
June 23rd 2022


21035 Comments


"The hottest band in metalcore right now"

But this isn't a Greyhaven review?

Mongi123
June 23rd 2022


22036 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I hope they don’t stay in that direction ugh

Dnor13
June 23rd 2022


20 Comments


BallsToTheWalls said this sucked on Facebook so I'll pass.

Mort.
June 23rd 2022


25594 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

metalcore has been bad for a long time lets just admit it



bad genre, sucks hard

MarsKid
Emeritus
June 23rd 2022


21035 Comments


But I was told this is a banger album, you just hatin

Mort.
June 23rd 2022


25594 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

i indeed do not like this band

MarsKid
Emeritus
June 23rd 2022


21035 Comments


Dude let's be friends

MonotoneCulprit
June 23rd 2022


199 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Nu-metalcore is the plague that just won't die. Seems like every promising metalcore band gets dragged into Nu-Metal hell eventually.

OwMySnauze
June 23rd 2022


2538 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Their self titled is their best material thus far, they should’ve expanded from there. Not shift complete genres just to follow what guarantees mainstream success

Mongi123
June 23rd 2022


22036 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Cant pigeon hole them into just this but as far as metalcore at least Rolo Tomassi still exists.

SteakByrnes
June 23rd 2022


30003 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

def the weakest thing they've put out

kalkwiese
June 23rd 2022


10474 Comments


Seems like they got a bit worse with every release. I had a feeling when the singles collection came out, but anything was still possible back then lol

MarsKid
Emeritus
June 23rd 2022


21035 Comments


Greyhaven, Callous Daoboys, Rolo, Palm Reader, Conjurer, Minors, Svalbard, Hirsch Effekt, good ol Converge & Zao, Frontierer & Sectioned, The Motion Mosaic, Neck of the Woods, Zapruder, Yashira etc etc etc

But it's a dead genre, lads, everyone and everything sucks.

nash1311
June 23rd 2022


8220 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Holy wow this is boring

LightAndGlass
June 23rd 2022


1239 Comments


I actually dig Rotoscope but the rest is super meh.

This band was disrespectfully boring when I saw them live on tour with Underoath and Bad Omens. Every song sounds the same and Courtney sounded like she was mumbling everything when she wasn't screaming. They might have been okay on their own but Bad Omens put on a ridiculous set before Spiritbox came on and it solidified my bias that this band is lame.

TheTripP
June 23rd 2022


4548 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

oh this is making me sad, I don't even want to listen to it

mkmusic1995
Contributing Reviewer
June 23rd 2022


1822 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Rotoscope and Hysteria sound awesome but Sew Me Up feels a bit middle of the road. Really interested to see the direction this band follows through with



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