Sound — 8
After numerous delays (about a years worth or so), New York's metalcore outfit It Dies Today have finally been permitted by their label to release their third studio album, Lividity. Many old school fans of the band were disappointed with their last effort Sirens for sounding too different and watered down. Long gone are the days of Forever Scorned or even The Caitiff Choir where the band sounded... well... good. But... This record is a massive step up from Sirens. That's how I would start out this review if that statement actually meant anything to me. Sirens isn't exactly something I would use as a comparison. What I can say, though, is that some fans of modern melodic metalcore will see this as the band's redemption in a way. This record is arguably the bands heaviest to date, cliched clean catchy choruses aside. I'd say it's even heavier at times than Forever Scorned. Maybe not as good, but definitely heavier. At times. You see, with this release, it's really a love hate relationship. There are parts I like and parts I don't. There are a couple of great songs, and a couple forgettable ones. At times you'll raise an eyebrow and think "I've heard that riff before..." and at other times you'll raise the other eyebrow and think "oh, there's something new". There's a lot of generic riffing here, but that's metalcore for you. A lot of it has been done. But there is the occasional spark of originality. You'd be surprised at what these guys can come up with sometimes.
Lyrics — 7
Looking at the song titles, you can tell that the lyrical content of the band has changed over the years. Whereas The Caitiff Choir was full of sappy love songs, this album is full of... other stuff. Seriously, I don't even know what Jason (the new vocalist) is talking about half the time. Lines like "We are the architects of suffering/We are the architects of criminal desires" don't really mean anything at all. Who are "we" and why are they such assholes? Screw it. I want my sappy love songs back. At least average people could relate to Nick and whatever it was he was whining about. Jason Wood as a vocalist isn't really my cup of tea either. He suffers from the same dilemma of the new After the Burial vocalist. He sounds too hardcore, not metalcore enough. His screams sound dry and hollow, not thick like Nick could pull off way back on the Caitiff Choir. Maybe I'm being too hard on him because I think he crapped all over the remakes of Marigold and Sixth of June, but I really just don't think he's right for the band. And God, the clean vocals... Seriously, you can tell that this band is being pushed around by the label. First you have a year of delays. Then when you get the album, you have tons of pansy-ass clean choruses. Now don't get me wrong, I love clean choruses. But a lot of these sound horribly out of place. And Jason literally sounds like a pansy when he sings clean vocals. He sounds like a pretty boy in a pop band. But hey, you gotta have something for the kids to sing along to! It's how you get people to come to shows! Not. There is probably only two clean choruses in the album that I liked, and they were on Nihility and Reckless Abandonment. I think. They had great melodies, they were well placed, and unlike most of the other clean choruses on the album, they didn't sound forced.
Overall Impression — 8
Overall, I think that it would have been a much better album if they had just stuck to the aggressive aspect and just ran with it. This had potential, but the overused clean choruses really killed it. That, and the fact that this record came out a couple of years late. If this album didn't have so much generic cheese in it, and this was 2004 instead of 2009, I'd be telling you that this band would be going places. Also, don't get excited about Complacence Without Pursuit because of the long run time like I did. I thought it would be a long epic track similar to Defeatism from The Caitiff Choir. Turns out, it wasn't, it was just an average song followed by a few minutes of silence and then some drinking song. Come on, guys. For what it's worth, though, it's still much better than Sirens, heavier than The Caitiff Choir (although I still think that's a better album), and heaps better than a lot of -core albums this year (Impending Doom, Emmure, TDWP, I'm looking at you guys). Despite the crap that I gave this album, it really isn't that bad. There were plenty of riffs throughout where I really did feel like banging my head, and there were quite a few interesting breakdowns as well. A few moments even surprised me, causing me to raise both eyebrows and think "these guys came up with that?" This record is still growing on me, really. It's taking a few listens, but I find that there are some tracks, including This Ghost, Martyr of Truth, Reckless Abandonment, and Nihility, that I can't resist. One of those songs even has a pretty sweet solo in it. Fans of modern metalcore should check this out. Despite the fact that I don't like the new vocalist, I think this album is still pretty good. It's like a blend between As I Lay Dying and Parkway Drive. Sometimes generic and sometimes interesting, but always sticks to the rules. But every once in a while, they'll make those rules work for them. Fans rejoice, the band is climbing their way out of the slump they were in.