Sound: MyChildren MyBride's past catalog is, honestly, less than stellar. Unbreakable was basically metalcore by the numbers, and "Lost Boy", while showing signs of growth, was still muddied up with boring music and soso vocals. These facts make the ammount of artistic growth and maturity visible on their new self titled album all the more surprising.
To start off, MCMB's new album is dark. Insanely dark. The band has done an excellent job at creating a heavy, almost foggy atmosphere within some of the songs ("Anathema", "God Of Nothing"). Other, more straight up metalcore numbers ("Samcro", "Observer"), stick a little closer to their older sound, but manage to showcase far more maturity than past efforts. One prime example of this is "Wings of Integrity Pt. II", who's counterpart on unbreakable was standard metalcore. "Pt. II" is full of interesting riffing and subtle piano tones, which when set to the inspirational lyrics, gives the song a life of its own.
I also feel I would be doing them injustice if I didn't mention the TWO sick breakdowns in Anathema. Simply punishing. // 8
Lyrics and Singing: The lyrics on this album range from religious to highly personal, so whether you're christian or not, there may be material with which you could relate. "God Of Nothing" is one of the more interesting Christian songs I've heard in recent memory, an attack at Lucifer, that still shows a humane pity towards him ("Lucifer was so beautiful/I wonder what really happened that day./You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor/All to have it stripped away").
"Wings Pt. II" is as inspirational an anthem as any Christian metalcore band has written, and other songs have similar themes of overcoming obstacles, inner and outer. The true lyrical highlight was, for me, "The Endless", a song about losing loved ones while away from home. Some of my favorite lines:
"An Austin, Texas morning
I wish I never woke up that sunny day
Just to find out about the lie
That was 24 years in the making
She was in and out of my life
Just like a slow passing train
I never got to say goodbye
To the mother I barely knew was mine"
Vocally, the album resembles "Lost Boy" slightly. There's a more interesting combination of lows and highs used, but they, as in the past, stick to screams and group chants. // 9
Impression: MCMB have definitely impressed me with this album, and I say that as a person who almost despised their previous output. Their self titled album carries dark, confused lyrical themes with dark, ethereal guitar lines and effects, creating a tension unlike anything I've ever heard in metalcore.
To keep the last of this review short, whether you're Christian or not, a metalcore fanatic or someone looking to delve into the genre a little, buy those album. It is a shining example of what emotional metalcore can be.
Recommended tracks: "Anathema", "God Of Nothing", "The Endless".
For fans of: Oh, Sleeper, Underoath, As I Lay Dying. // 9