Graveyard Shift review by Motionless In White

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  • Released: May 5, 2017
  • Sound: 5
  • Lyrics: 5
  • Overall Impression: 5
  • Reviewer's score: 5 Decent
  • Users' score: 7.3 (20 votes)
Motionless In White: Graveyard Shift
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Sound — 5
Motionless In White may have started out as a deathcore band just like plenty of other metal upstarts from the previous decade, but given frontman Chris Motionless's penchant for a '90s-era shock rock aesthetic, it was uncanny that the band would also eventually take their music in a similar direction. Come their third album, 2014's "Reincarnate," the band pivoted from the metalcore aggression that powered their freshman and sophomore albums for an industrial metal flair a la Marilyn Manson or Rob Zombie, which helped set the band apart from the run-of-the-mill metalcore sound that most of their peers still adhered to.

Having done a decent job with that pivot, Motionless In White's fourth album, "Graveyard Shift," expands upon what they touched upon in their previous album, generally appealing to a mainstream metal sound rife with singalong choruses and gang chants. Though they still bank on the industrial metal style in some cases, where aggressive, throbbing synths do the heavy lifting in "Rats," "Queen For Queen," "Untouchable," and "Not My Type: Dead As Fuck 2," Motionless In White don't make it the sole focus of their songwriting this time around. Slipknot-esque riffs in "Necessary Evil" and "Soft" show some more nu metal flavor to the band, and venturing into even simpler territory, the opening barre chords in "Voices" sounds like a Green Day pastiche, and the singular main riff in the following "LOUD (Fuck It)" is a post-grunge token.

Among all this, Motionless In White still manage to dish out some aggressive metal energy that they were previously known for, though with it coming in the tail end of the album, it feels like an afterthought. Nevertheless, the post-hardcore high gear of "The Ladder" and the triplet-rhythmed melodic metalcore cut of "570" will scratch any listener's itch for a dose of heavy and harsh metal, but other attempts by the band aim to thread the needle of vigor and catchiness (heard in "Hourglass" and "Eternally Yours"), which essentially boils down to sounding like any pop-minded metalcore of today.

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Lyrics — 5
Similarly to "Reincarnate," Chris Motionless's lyrics in "Graveyard Shift" also span from kitschy shock rock scenes (like the necrophilia cunnilingus chorus in "Not My Type: Dead As Fuck 2") to general uplifting messages (like the ode to resilience in "Untouchable"), but more than anything, Chris's lyrics suffer from an extraneous penchant for repurposing catchy lines originally written by others. Along with recycling his own "a pawn in king's disguise" line in the chorus of "Queen For Queen" (which first appeared in the song "Carry The Torch" from the band's previous album), Chris goes from refashioning Gotye's ubiquitous hook in "The Ladder" ("Now you're just somebody that I used to fuck") and putting a simple, macabre spin on Lesley Gore's iconic hook in "Necessary Evil" ("It's my party, and I'll die when I want to"), to cribbing from Cypress Hill in "Soft" ("I'm insane, I'm insane in the membrane / I wanna fuck your face with a switchblade").

Overall Impression — 5
When they first made a significant step to changing their sound in "Reincarnate," Motionless In White may not have been blazing a brand new trail, but their appeal to a metal style influenced by industrial and darkwave easily helped them sound more eclectic than many of their metalcore peers. With "Graveyard Shift," Motionless In White lose out on that distinction they had previously seized by merging into a mainstream metal sound that has been the norm longer than the band have been around. All in all, Motionless In White sound much less interesting in "Graveyard Shift."

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10 comments sorted by best / new / date

    MetalRock4ever
    This reviewer's grading is like a teacher who can't be bothered to go through all the homework they have to mark: B B B -> 5/10, 5/10, 5/10. I honestly thought this was a very good album from them. On a picky note, what is wrong with using references/lyrics from older songs and using them in newer songs? If it is using the same lyrics in a copy/paste manner, I can understand. But a small reference to other lyrics are fine, and there's nothing wrong with that (unlike what the reviewer seems to suggest). So many bands do it, and it's nice when fans go "oh, I see what you did there". 
    triviumfan2080
    This review does not give enough credit for the sheer diversity of style on this album, all executed thoroughly at that.
    pressureproject
    That's assuming you think diversity is a good thing.  Not everyone does.
    triviumfan2080
    Touche... I guess two of the songs I just really cant jam too (Not my type and LOUD), but in general I feel people appreciate bands that experiment WITHOUT losing their core sound.
    Vampire_State
    It's funny because I thought the electro-industrial and gothic rock influences were more present on this album than the others, but to each their own, I guess.
    GenerationKILL
    I've never heard of these guys. My first impression is that the singer definitely wears his influences on his sleeve. I definitely heard some Marilyn Manson in there. Which certainly isn't a bad thing if you're into that sort of stuff.  They sound like something you'd hear on the stereo in a Hot Topic. 
    halo_fan1991
    Okay, so I've seen Motionless in White live twice because they opened up for some bands, the most recent was with In This Moment. After the concert and their stage energy I decided to pick this album up, now I'm not gonna rip on them and say it's not good, in fact this is the only album I can actually listen to of theirs from start to finish. I love hearing the influences throughout their music, you can hear them all if you listen close enough. I find myself headbanging in my car on my way to and from work. The choruses on this album are incredibly catchy. So I'd say that album is probably their best work yet.