Release Date: Jul 1, 2014
Record label: Epitaph
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Metal, Heavy Metal, Noise-Rock, Hardcore Punk, Math Rock, Metalcore
From Parts Unknown and its predecessor Ex Lives mirror Every Time I Die's opening one-two album punch. Where their sophomore LP found them slightly mellowing from the spazz-fest (that's a compliment) of Last Night in Town, the second in their more recent pairing ups the metalcore aggression from their impressive 2012 offering. And Hot Damn! is it great.The band one-up Ex Lives in every regard; that album's chaotic opener can't hold a torch to the firestorm that is "The Great Secret." That secret is evidently a continuation of the spastic sound that initially exemplified them.
Review Summary: Oh Lord, I am saved!In 2014, I don’t think anybody would have been truly happy with what was expected of Every Time I Die: yet another installment of the accessible, southern-tinged metalcore the Buffalo-based group has become infamous for. Ex Lives, while being another solid addition to the band’s repertoire, felt as tired as the one-liners belted by vocalist Keith Buckley- they were enjoyable because we expected them, but that just meant we forgot about them with enough time. It’s disconcerting for fans of Every Time I Die to see that shift happen, with the band’s music so unerringly consistent in sound that it’s hard to see them ever doing things differently.
Album number seven from the Buffalo, New York-based metalcore sextet continues in the vein of 2012's Ex Lives with another scorching set of punk-blasted malevolence that somehow manages to be both relentlessly kinetic and imposingly muscular. The 12-track, Epitaph-issued From Parts Unknown is, for the most part, bereft of the slick, breakdown-bloodied, electro-industrial flair that seems to have become the norm in the increasingly tech-heavy and overly mechanized-sounding metalcore scene. More classic screamo with a punk-metal agenda, the band sounds possessed from the very start, with a fevered Keith Buckley trumpeting his horn of dis-plenty and declaring "Blow your f**king brains out" over a wash of thrashy dissonance that's more Carcass than Converge.
You know what happened when Converge guitarist Kurt Ballou was enlisted to produce the new Every Time I Die album? Pure sweaty, spitting, bleeding bliss rained down upon the scene—and it was good. On From Parts Unknown, Ballou has captured a band of MVPs, pushing drummer Ryan Leger up into the mix for maximum propulsion, and steering guitarists Jordan Buckley and Andy Williams into sonic demolition derbies (“The Great Secret,” “Thirst”) that hearken back to 2009’s New Junk Aesthetic, seemingly fueled by some mix of vengeance, battery acid and bathtub napalm. Frontman Keith Buckley has maintained his stature with a seething that would make Henry Rollins perk up from his MacBook.