Released: Nov 20, 2012
Genre: Metalcore, Post-Hardcore, Industrial
Label: Rise Records
Number Of Tracks: 11
The past few years have been rough for WIM, but somehow they've managed to survive long enough to create a second album, "Genesi[s]".
unregistered, on november 26, 2012 3 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sound: Back in 2009, Woe, Is Me's (WIM) debut album, "Number[s]", was fairly well received by critics, mostly due to the groundbreaking, soulful vocals by clean vocalist Tyler Carter. The general consensus of the album was that it was good, but that the band needed experience playing together to fix a few discrepancies. Fast forward three years and WIM has managed to rotate through four different member lineups, including the departure of dual vocalists Tyler Carter and Michael Bohn. The past few years have been rough for WIM, but somehow they've managed to survive long enough to create a second album, "Genesi[s]". Expectations were high for "Genesi[s]" and many fans considered it to be the "make-or-break" album of the band's career. Sadly, "Genesi[s]" failed to meet the expectations of many fans.
"Genesi[s]" is best described as the soundtrack to the band's life over the past year or so; which has not been an easy one. It starts out with a worthless, 30 second intro consisting of silly machine noises, which quickly lead into the down-tuned, overproduced breakdown festival that is "F.Y.I." The manic aggression displayed in "F.Y.I." sets the tone for the rest of the album; however this aggression becomes boring after the first three songs. This is mainly because it sounds as if the same breakdown is being used over and over again, a common flaw with mediocre metalcore bands. The next song "A Story To Tell" starts out with the generic "transformer-like noise" that shows up way too many times throughout the album, then quickly transitions into a pop-punk/easy-core type breakdown. The riff used in this breakdown conveys an out-of-place sense of upbeat positivity. A quick, generic-metalcore changeup ensues, which defines the basic formula for the rest of the album. However, that small dose of pop punk shows up once more on the album during the song "Nothing Left To Lose" when WIM attempt to create a sing-song, "whoa oh whoa" gang vocals- type chorus which fails dreadfully due to how out of place it sounds compared to the rest of the song. Obviously, WIM are attempting to win over some of the easy-core fan base with these elements, nevertheless, it sounds ridiculous and unnecessary.
The first few tracks of the album also feel rushed; a reoccurring problem throughout most of "Genesi[s]". Each song is filled with multiple layers of superfluous electronic noise; a major flaw of their previous album and one that I had hoped they would fix for "Genesi[s]". However, according to WIM, you can never have enough overproduced garbage floating around your "make-or-break" sophomore effort. It's not just the electronics that make this album unbearable at some points; it's the production as a whole. I honestly don't know what producer Cameron Mizell was thinking when he was working on "Genesi[s]". The guitars sound like guitar samples found on a children's keyboard, the drums are triggered and phony-sounding, and the album as a whole sounds like it was pieced together in just a few hours. Obviously, this isn't all Cameron's fault. The band had barely been a band before they entered the studio, which made the whole writing process difficult. Cameron then had to desperately stitch together all of the members' ideas, which resulted in the manufactured and overly crowded juggernaut that is "Genesi[s]". // 4
Lyrics: The lyrics on "Genesi[s]" also happen to be generic and clich. Since the drama filled departure of former vocalists Tyler Carter and Michael Bohn, and the creation of their new band "Issues", the two bands have been battling back and forth via the internet, live shows, and now their lyrics, all in an attempt to show who the "real musicians" are. It seems that every single song on "Genesi[s]" is somehow related to the bashing of "Issues". This could have been a fairly interesting topic to base an album around; however it doesn't work out that way. The lyrics seem uninspired, uncreative, and generic. Not a single lyric out of all eleven songs on the album matches the creativity and swagger found on "Issues'" single "King Of Amarillo". At this point, it's apparent that WIM are losing the war against "Issues", the band that got the better half of the original WIM lineup anyways!
The vocals on "Genesi[s]" are nothing special either. The new unclean vocalist Doriano Magliano is the former vocalist for the late Rise Records catastrophe, That's Outrageous. Doriano's growls are past their prime and he sounds like he's struggling to not blow his vocal cords at the end of each song. Clean vocalist Hance Alligood actually happens to be a fairly talented, though the majority of his appearances are uninspiring. Most of the songs on "Genesi[s]" would be better off without clean vocals, which makes Hance sound worse than he actually is. The moments when Hance really shines are found on the last two songs of the album, neither of which have unclean vocals in them. One is an acoustic version of "Nothing Left To Lose", and one features Memphis May Fire vocalist, Matty Mullins. These two songs are the best on the entire album and I would've loved to hear more of Hance's voice without the clutter of the rest of the band. Altogether, the lyrics and vocals on "Genesi[s]" are a huge step backwards from "Number[s]". Still, the clean vocals are nothing to sneeze at when they're used properly. // 5
Overall Impression: When it comes down to it, "Genesi[s]" just wasn't planned, produced, or handled well at all. The music itself is clich and overdone. I suppose if more thought was put into "Genesi[s]" WIM would've taken more time to write the music, Cameron would've taken more time to produce the music, and Rise Records would've taken more time in deciding when to release the album. In my opinion, if this same album was released back in April or May, I think metalcore fans, including myself, would've cut WIM some slack. However, after hearing some fantastic releases by Memphis May Fire, For All Those Sleeping, Motionless In White, and many others prior to "Genesi[s]", it makes "Genesi[s]" sound even worse than it actually is. Hopefully, if WIM are still a band two years down the road, they can create something more creative and original than "Genesi[s]", preferably utilizing more of Hance's vocals and less of the worthless production tricks. // 5
morzzzzz, on november 27, 2012 3 of 5 people found this review helpful
Sound: Woe, Is Me's sophomore release of "Genesi[s]" is without a doubt a big change in sound compared to their debut record Number[s] (as you can tell the band is still trying to keep the whole [S] thing alive). "Number[s]" was, that for a "core" record, was put together very well in my opinion. I still enjoy the record to this day, two years after it's release. Within those two years, many things happened.
If you didn't already know, the band since the release of their debut album underwent drama which resulted in a number of lineup changes. The first lineup consisted of Tim Sherrill and Kevin Hanson on lead and rhythm guitars respectively, Austin Thornton on drums, Cory Ferris on bass, Tyler Carter on clean vocals, Michael Bohn on screamed vocals, and Ben Ferris on keys and synth sharing screaming duties with Bohn. Tim Sherrill (in my opinion who's departure was a VERY large and overlooked factor in Woe, Is Me's current sound) was the first to depart. Geoffrey Higgins replaced him temporarily, but lead guitar (and at this point I use the words "lead guitar" very loosely) was eventually permanently taken up by former rhythm guitarist of Abandon All Ships, Andrew Piaino. Tyler was next to leave, who's drama many may already know. He was replaced by Hance Alligood. A few months later, Michael Bohn and both Ferris brothers departed. The band since replaced them with Doriano Magliano on screamed vocals (formerly of That's Outragous!) and Brian Medley on bass. They never replaced Ben Ferris with a new synth player as most of their synths and sounds at their live show are played on backing tracks (and pretty much the rest of their set...)
Well now since I've given you a history lesson, let's get into "Genesi[s]"'s sound. Like I said, it's a BIG change compared to their last record, and quite frankly, it isn't really a change for the better. "Number[s]" was a very creative album to say the least. I think I liked it so much because it was generic, hard and aggressive when it needed to be, as well as creative, melodic, and ambient when it needed to be giving us a great mesh of metalcore and post-hardcore.
My biggest complaint for the record is in the guitars. The whole record I kid you and exaggerate not is played on the lowest 2 strings 95% of the time. If I was filling in on guitars I'd probably not even need to downtune the rest of my strings in rehearsal because I'd only need to use 2 of them, 3 if Andrew is playing "leads". Another downside to the record, is that none of the songs stick in your head as much as the songs from their previous record did. Woe, Is Me also have a tendency at this point to write songs with aggressive verses and then randomly transition into catchy choruses in completely different key signatures. It's like listening to metal songs on the radio and out of nowhere someone comes in the room and turns the dial to a pop station. Very cluttered and unorganized if you ask me.
WIM's new sound is unorganized and lacks the creativity and musicianship that their previous album contained. Musically, "Genesi[s]" can be described as ADTR meets a very watered down version of Periphery meets the rest of generic metalcore that's trying to transition into lower tuned, 7 string guitars and "djenty" guitar tones but ultimately fail miserably at it because of their lack of actual musical ability unlike their progressive metal and "djent" counterparts. Sorry for the long, detailed description. If you didn't catch all of that, the record is pretty much just unoriginal and noisy. // 2
Lyrics: There isn't very much to say about these lyrics. They simply just aren't very good or creative this time around. Woe, Is Me was never really a band to look to for their lyrical content, but at least they had lyrics that told stories, used metaphors, and had positive messages. Lyrically, this record can be summed up as Dr. Suess in the form of an angry prepubescent middle school boy. The Dr Suess part means that everything rhymes and flows as an unpoetic, inartistic, angsty poem (not to say Dr Suess is any of that). All of Doriano's lyrics are very up front and in your face, which brings me to the angry prepubescent boy part. Being angry and in your face can be a good thing for a band, but if they rhyme like high school cheers and are angry like an upset 6th grader, then you need to take a creative writing class as soon as you can. They are simply immature and lack any sort of value. In a nutshell, this is a Woe, Is Me song off "Genesi[s]"...
"F--k you, f--k you!
We're the best
You swore we weren't, but we beat the rest
We passed the test, take these words to your chest
If you didn't know, we're never gonna go
and I just randomly realized your girlfriend's a f--king... HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOE!!!"
Like I said, not much to say. Sh-tty lyrics.
There is one redeeming feature about Woe, Is Me's latest release. Their clean vocals. Hance did a pretty good job on this record. The thing that's kind of shit about him is that he's a good singer, but there isn't enough of him on the record so it's like the one redeeming factor of the band isn't getting his time to shine as much as we would like him to. Another thing about Hance that is shitty is that he's practically always going to be in Tyler's shadow for as long as he is in that band. With the release of this album, I STRONGLY believe that Hance Alligood should find a new band. A band where he can sing songs that originally were written for his vocals to shine through. I think he'd have a lot better luck there. // 1
Overall Impression: In conclusion, I believe your liking to this record is completely based on what your initial expectations to it is. If you never were really a Woe, Is Me fan before and are listening casually, then you might not really care about this record. If you are into 1000001000000100001 tabbing and chugs in your music as well as ADTR choruses and again are listening casually, give this record a chance. You might find something you like. If you were a fan of "Number[s]" and are into music and lyrics written with creativity expecting something as good or at least at par with their first album, you should skip this record all together.
There aren't really stand out songs on this record. As stated in Sound analysis, every song sounds the same. It's pretty much one big breakdown with 16 bars of ADTR songs that come on every minute and a half. It's kind of the opposite of what I thought breakdowns were for. I thought that breakdowns were meant to enhance songs, but it looks like WIM wanted to take the route of ADTR sounding choruses in random key signatures to enhance a 25 minute breakdown.
I think that's everything that needs to be said about this record. My advice is to just download the audio for free because this isn't a record worth 15 bucks especially when they had so long to work on it. Also don't go in with high expectations if you want to enjoy this record. If you want a loud angry record to mosh, and jam to I have to say this might be good for you. If you want a record with substance and songs that you'll be singing along to for a long time, I'd stick with "Number[s]" and the "Fame > Demise" single for a few more years. // 2
vppark2, on november 27, 2012 1 of 5 people found this review helpful
Sound: It's about time someone reviewed this album. Let's save your time though, and just say that this album is a JOKE. I cannot fathom why these guys are even in the industry. Why did they decide to, ya know get all of these new members, make genetic-core puke from the gutter that in turn brings the end result as the worst metalcore band in history? Austin Thornton, the biggest douchebag of the band, and for all I know, the control freak, which, if none of you know, all of the old band members left in spite of him. Which now they formed another band called Issues. Now, this review is not about that band, but I will say they are not great. They did a song that dissed these guys, and this so-called band called Woe, Is Me also did one too, and as a matter of fact, both songs leaked on the internet the same day.
Meanwhile, as I'm not even past 20 seconds of WIM's new single, I cannot shake off the fact that I am majorly annoyed by the continuous, barbaric, utterly annoying screaming. It's like someone decided to make love with a donkey, and took over the vocals. Well... Anyway, I'm sickened by their music. Can't say their debut album was any good, but at least the use of keyboards and synthesizers were pretty good. Here, there is no keyboardist, and on top of that former lead guitarist of Abandon All Ships makes no key riffs to even bring this band together. All chug chug chug open note to the extreme crap. And y'know, I actually enjoyed the clean vocalist at first, but as the second time in to listening to "Family First" - the only song I liked on my first listen through, I cannot say that that's a good song anymore. It's just too cliche, but more importantly, Hance is wayyy to whiney and pitchy. It annoys the crap out of me because he doesn't have many parts in this album, and this was the one song with all clean vocals, whereas the other songs just had him in the chorus. It's almost like he's forcing his voice out. That's no bueno. // 1
Lyrics: I... I dunno where to start. So here's some sample of lyrics. This one is from "F.Y.I.":
"With the devil on my back
And God in my heart
I used the hands that built you up
To f--king rip you apart
You turned their whole world upside down
And filled heads with doubt
But there's just one small thing you forgot about
That on the other side of heaven
There's always a hell
And that's one f--king place I know all too well".
Too much swearing, too much negativity. This:
"So I'll pick up a pen
And from beginning to end
I'll write the three words we will defend:
Follow your dreams
It has too much cheesiness. This song, called "Call It Like You See It"... I... I just cannot say how unordinal this song is:
"And I have learned not to rely on all the promises you make,
'Cause when you play with fire, getting burned is just a chance you take.
I'm running out of time, there's no room for mistakes.
You can use this as you will, but I won't cross my fingers yet.
Wishful thinking lets you down, when what you see is what you get."
These guys seem to keep their angst towards ex members of the band, and it's getting real old fast. It disgusts me to even read these lyrics. Now, for the lead single, and quite possibly the worst song off this horrendous album. "I've Told You Once" spewing out repetitive rhymes:
"So hold these words up to your chest
Prove to them all why you're the best
And when they say you're just like the rest
It's time to put that courage to the test".
Not only that but I heard that the intro got stolen from one of Periphery's hits. WIM trying to be djent? That's a joke. I mean listen to how muddy their sound is. Another line from this joke of a song,
"'Cause you say that we're cowards and that we're the ones to blame,
But we're one in a million and you're all the f--king same".
Let me just say, words speak for these lines. // 1
Overall Impression: Oh, the irony of how horrible this album is. Let me tell ya, these guys are a dime a dozen. They're taking everything all of these other horrendous metalcore bands are doing nowadays and bundling it all up in one. That's not talent whatsoever, that's just immature garbage. I gave these guys a chance on their debut album, but now that everything's pretty much changed for the bad I cannot say the same. One more thing; Matty Mullins, get the hell out of this album, and stay away from Danny of AA, it's ruining your talent. Okay, I'm done.