Sound — 8
The sound that Motionless In White holds a very unique value, it separates itself from the somewhat common, generic Metalcore sound and serves as a signature sound. This is more than an "avant garde" or "experimental" attempt, it is an authentic, and well structured album. From the early release of "The Whorror", you can see MIW's growth as musicians, and therefore the development in their signature sound. It has derived from the US bands of the "underground" scene such as The Devil Wears Prada, We Came As Romans and Bleeding Through, the sound of "Creatures" has also gained some influence from the European "synthy" bands such as Dimmu Borgir (the string ensembles and other synth sounds similar to strings) and Asking Alexandria (in terms of Electronic synth use). The essence of the band and sound though, comes from the more comical and cartoonish sounds and image (yes, image is also a large influence on Motionless In White, the appearance of MIW is not your usual Metalcore look, but it invites all people and encourages people to feel a sense of belonging) from bands such as The Misfits. This is also the bands first record in the Drop B tuning, as opposed to Drop D, this adds much more depth in the overall sound, and really, brings out the "brutality" in the intricate riffs, breakdowns and high flying choruses. Drummer Angelo Parente has also developed as a percussionist, and it is quite evident through the more technical fills placed throughout the songs. When Love Met Destruction was very simplistic in terms of Metalcore drumming, where as Creatures shows taste, the drumming complements the riffs around it. The synths used are essentially what makes "Creatures" what it is. It's a mix of the classic orchestrated synths, piano's and various strings (used in songs like "City Lights") as well as the newer electronic synths. However, instead of using these Techno/Trance synth sounds traditionally, like in the early songs of Motionless In White such as "Schitzophreniccannibalisticsexfest.com" where they dive into a full Techno section. This time, Josh Balz has re-invented the use of these synths in a more melodic nature, songs such as "Count Choculitis" and "Puppets (The First Snow)". This is one of the key ingredients in the sound of "Creatures", it separates Motionless In White from your electronic Metalcore bands along the lines of Attack! Attack! and Asking Alexandria. Creatures shows great musicianship, it is the production of the album which brings the rating down. The guitars of Ryan Sitkowski and TJ Bell are in parts, almost inaudible. This is the result of the heightened volume of the vocals and synth, whether this is to add to the dynamics of the pieces to add depth, or is just what the band or engineer wanted, it gets somewhat annoying, and it feels like the album has not been mixed and mastered properly. If Ultimate-Guitar gave reviewers the chance to rate within .5 intervals, I would give the sound of "Creatures", in terms of musicianship and the development of the music itself, I'd give it an 8.5 to 9. It is a step up from the more generic song structures of "WLMD", and introduces a lot more technicality (in terms of this style, and not comparing to Technical bands). For fans of the Metalcore, Hardcore and even Deathcore genres, Motionless In White's "Creatures" will give a whole new spin on the genre of Metalcore.
Lyrics — 7
As well as the re-modelling of the Metalcore genre into a gothic influenced record through the synth sounds and before mentioned musical attributes, the lyrics within the album "Creatures" provide a cartoonish and 1930's horror film connotation. The lyrics work off a gothic, horror sense of imagery, but pass on a deeper message. In instances, the lyrics also refer directly to the theme and subject of the song. The lyrics are extremely catchy in SOME parts and will have you singing them out in your head or in the middle of church! But this is somewhat a rarity with other bands within the same genre writing lyrics that stick in almost every song, one band that is a perfect example is Dr. Acula. Motionless In White lack the hooks and chants of bands releasing in todays era. "When Love Met Destruction" showcased such hooks and chants, something Creatures lacks. Vocalists Chris Cerulli (screams and occasional cleans) and TJ Bell (cleans) display much improvement on "Creatures". "WLMD" and "The Whorror" lacked crucial vocal skill, especially clean vocals. The vocals recorded on Creatures are in key this time around, which is an obvious necessity. Also, Chris Cerulli's screams have a lot more range, hitting highs, somewhat similar to the European Black Metal bands and expanding his range to a lower register to achieve a more deathish sound. In terms of screams and clean vocals, "Creatures" is a definite improvement. However, through wide opinion and viewing various live videos, the vocalists of Motionless In White struggle to achieve what they did on the record. It is a fair letdown as the music backing these vocals sounds very close to the record. No one wants to see a band perform exactly like they do on record, it takes away from the live experience, but the lack of vocal skill live does take away from the experience. If I could rate in.5 intervals, 7.5 to about 8.5.
Overall Impression — 9
"Creatures" is more than your usual attempt at creating a unique sound, something that bands of the core genres struggle with a lot. These bands either become far too generic, or far too experimental. Motionless In White, thanks to their effort with "Creatures" sit in the position of accomplishing something very unique without over stepping the experimental barrier. This is now a somewhat recognized signature sound that the band will possibly one day be widely acknowledged for. Creatures is highly recommended for fans of Metalcore, Hardcore and even Deathcore and your straight up Metal bands, MIW are all about expressing ones self, and reinforces the debate over Core music and Metal music, in the end its all the same, and "Creatures" along with its creators have captured that idea through their unique sound and imagery.