Sound — 10
Every Time I Die is incredible, just getting that out of the way. I first heard of these guys when I bought the album The Big Dirty because the cover looked cool and it was in the Metal section. What I heard when opening track No Son of Mine's discordant guitars came in full blast was metalcore in the style of some of the innovators of the genre like Poison the Well, Botch, He Is Legend, and even a little Converge. By the time I had heard the album in its entirety, ETID had just served me a smorgasboard of heavy rock and metal styles that covered everything hard music has had to offer us throughout the years. While some elitists might say that metalcore is not innovative, I think Every Time I Die is a standout among a lot of mediocre and mundane bands. Their ability to bring in elements of southern rock into their style of metalcore is especially refreshing and fun to listen to. Fans of 90's guitar rock would love to latch on to such riff-intensive songs like INRIhab, Rendez-voodoo, and We'rewolf, and fans of more abrasive and heavy songs would love songs like No Son of Mine, Pigs is Pigs, and Imitation Is the Most Sincerest Form of Battery. This is one of my favorite albums for sure.
Lyrics — 10
Keith Buckley is an interesting vocalist and an even more interesting lyricist. He has collaborated with Joe and Andy from Fall Out Boy and Scott Ian of Anthrax to make the supergroup The Damned Things (Who are damned good I must say). His ability to make his voice go from all out throat shredding screams to a Hetfield-esque gritty, gravely barking vocal style to his unique style of singing is impressive. He really shines at using all three of these voices in the songs We'rewolf, INRIhab, and Rendez-voodoo. Lyrically, Buckley covers a variety of topics, from the proverbial "sell your soul to the devil," the "there shall be no rock n roll in this household" father, being "bitten by the party animal," to an angry artist wanting to destroy rather than "create what is meaningless." The lyrics really coincide with the music being played. No Son of Mine and Pigs Is Pigs are the first two tracks and are intensely heavy, and the lyrics are vicious and angry. "Deadbeat godfather...keep your voices down I'm sneaking out!...Keep your f--king hands off the insight" sound like the rantings of an angry teenager. There are plenty of memorable lines throughout this album a few examples being "Look away it's too much to bear/I've been bitten by the party animal!", "We hummed along to electric guitars and the standard woah oh oh ohhs," "I tied the devil to the tracks/Can you hear the train comin'?" and "And it is better to destroy than to create what is meaningless/So the picture will not be finished!" Keith Buckley isn't alone in vocal duties on this album. Dallas Green from alexisonfire contributes his voice to the song INRIhab. Overall, Keith's lyrics can go from the angry and angsty to the silly and satirical.
Overall Impression — 10
Every Time I Die are, in my humble opinion, head and shoulders above their competition. While other "hardcore" bands rely on dance-pop beats, synths, and auto-tune, Every Time I Die are simple raw, gritty, nasty guitar driven rock. Bands like them along with their peers in Dillinger Escape Plan, Converge, Poison the Well, The Chariot, alexisonfire, and Maylene and the Sons of Disaster provide a glimmer of hope for a hardcore genre being saturated with Hot Topic friendly mallcore. The most impressive songs on this album are No Son of Mine, We'rewolf, Cities and Years, INRIhab, and Imitation Is the Most Sincere Form of Battery. What I love about this album is the constant addicting, catchy riff after addicting catchy riff. Andy Williams and Jordan Buckley certainly have guitar chops and aren't afraid to flex them. Instead of playing 80's glam metal style indulgent solos, they stick to 90's grunge and alternative guitar rock style of riff after riff. The guitar work on the album is impressive because they show that you don't have to play 6,000 bpm and play 1,000,000 notes a song (ahem, Dragonforce) in order to make a great sounding album. What I hate about this album is that it only clocks in at just about 45 minutes and only has 12 songs. (But that's easily fixed by hitting repeat on your CD player or iPod, right?) If this album were stolen or lost, first of all thank God I recently put it on my phone so I still have a copy of it, second of all I will go to the ends of the Earth to find it and maim whoever stole it. I would replace it if my search failed. I highly recommend this album if you are a fan of Underoath, Poison the Well, Maylene and the Sons of Disaster, Botch, Converge, Vanna, The Sound of Animals Fighting, The Number 12 Looks Like You, The Damned Things, or alexisonfire.