Ex Lives Review

artist: Every Time I Die date: 03/06/2012 category: compact discs
Every Time I Die: Ex Lives
Released: Mar 6, 2012
Genre: Metalcore, Hardcore Punk, Mathcore, Southern Metal
Label: Epitaph
Number Of Tracks: 14
One of hardcore's most revered acts start to look at the big picture on album number six "Ex Lives".
 Sound: 8.5
 Lyrics: 8.5
 Overall Impression: 8.5
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reviews (2) 14 comments vote for this album:
overall: 8
Ex Lives Featured review by: UG Team, on march 06, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: They tour the tours, they pit the pits and their riff worshipping approach to hardcore is music to plenty of stretched ears, but New York's Every Time I Die seem more and more like a by-product of contemporary US metalcore than real purveyors of it these days. "Ex Lives" doesn't pound or lurch; it swings, and for all its rage it expresses itself with acute self-awareness. Tracks like "Holy Book Of Dilemma" will still give you whiplash if you're not careful, but speed is an afterthought so long as the riffs rock hard enough. They do most of the time thanks to the work of Andy Williams and Jordan Buckley.

Working with the band for the first time, Joe Barresi creates a mix which immediately eclipses those that have come before, and this knowledge shows in the performances, which are absolutely giddy at times. Raw, occasionally experimental and as decidedly "southern rock" as the press has always fancied the band to be. // 8

Lyrics: However, it remains very hard to dispute that ETID's unique selling point is their lyricist, Keith Buckley. It is through him that the band continually carve out a niche and find intelligent ways to feed their lust for aggression and brutality. As always, Buckley reflects a little on himself and a little on society, but it is with unprecedented seriousness that he approaches the microphone this time. There really are no party anthems or grinning tales from the gutter. Luckily, this has little effect on the man's formidable command of language as he reflects rather grimly on lives past and present.

Fans of Buckley's usual wit and diatribe may have less to feed on than normal as he addresses his demons head-on booze, women and societal pressures, mostly but simplicity does have its advantages. "What does he have that I don't, except you?" he asks on "Drag King", making subject and message clear as day and doing them some justice in the process. It's a brave and honest performance, and one that should be commended. He so often hides behind cryptic metaphors and clever wordplay but here he proves he can lay himself bare and still lead his band with a bit of class. // 8

Overall Impression: We may have something of a mismatch between music which marauds freely and lyrics which are bogged down in personal struggle, but it matters little at the end of the day. Perhaps the solemn new single "Revival Mode" is the best combination of the two, but for excitement, groove and immediacy it's best to just enjoy the tunes, which the band don't half make easy for you. If you haven't yet recognised Every Time I Die as a trailblazer in an oversaturated scene this might be your last chance to convert before people start to wonder whether your ears need a good cleaning. // 8

- Duncan Geddes (c) 2012

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overall: 9
Ex Lives Reviewed by: tancanada, on march 06, 2012
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: If you know anything about the Southern metalcore quintet that is Every Time I Die, you will be expecting multiple grandiose displays of their talents, including (but not limited to) vocalist Keith Buckley's raucous screams, chilling clean vocals and well-written lyrics, along with catchy blues-scale-gone-evil guitar lines that rocket through every song paired with lightning fast drums and equally impressive bassistry. The fantastic news is that Every Time I Die have gone and improved themselves in this album, outdoing themselves yet again from their last effort "New Junk Aesthetic". The album starts out much like the way "The Big Dirty" starts out; with a pulverizing chaotic number entitled "Underwater Bimbos From Outer Space". The song is a headbanger from start to finish, complete with all the things you would expect from the band going balls to the wall. Many fans of the band have voiced their wish for the group to return to the violent days of the first albums that they put out, and the first track serves exactly that purpose. Even better, this is not the only track to take listeners out on a wild ride, "Partying Is Such A Sweet Sorrow" takes listeners on a journey something reminiscent of driving a Chevy at 80 miles an hour through the swamps down south, and "The Holy Book Of Dilemma" is like the soundtrack to a drunken bar brawl, featuring violently jarring power chords that are pinned down by blast beats (yes, blast beats). "The Low Road Has No Exits" features sixteenth note palm-muted verses that could make any metal fan happy in the pants, and "Indian Giver" offers an insanely low tuning paired with lovely vocal melodies provided by Buckley. Songs like "The Typical Miracle" showcase ETID's comprehension of groove, specifically the songs outro. Buckley showcases his vocal abilities as well as lyricism on the former, belting out some of ETID's most violent lyrics while simultaneously keeping his sarcastic edge that the band is known for. If you were wondering if this band had their throttle stuck to the floor the entire time, fear not! "Revival Mode" is a slower and softer little number that allows listeners to catch their breaths while keeping the intensity of the album cranked to 11. // 9

Lyrics: As come to be expected, just about every song has an insanely catchy vocal line paired with some excellently written lyric that ETID is known for. "Underwater Bimbos" starts out with a throat shredding and eerie "I want to be dead with my friends", and "Revival Mode"'s "Thanks Lord, but I don't need any more poor advice" are the two lines that stick out the most on the album. Buckley's biting sarcasm paired with his red-hot harsh vocals make this album just as fun of a vocal listen as a lyrical one. // 9

Overall Impression: This album has taken Every Time I Die to a new level completely; in my mind, this release has taken the band from being the leader in the Southern metalcore genre to being one of the defining rock-and-roll bands of this generation. This release proved that they are easily the most versatile bands in the genre, staying heavy and saucy and being more than enough to satisfy old fans needs while simultaneously being accessible enough to draw in new fans. This album will knock you flat on your ass upon first listen, much like a solid swig of moonshine and a mouthful of dip, no matter who you are, and it's evident that's exactly how the band intended to showcase this album to the world. // 9

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