Sound — 9
The third self-released album from Panama City Beach's rock quartet Not Another Word entitled Behind Closed Doors, pays homage to post hardcore acts like Thrice, Alkaline Trio, and Thursday as much as it produces a new wave of hardcore rockers whose intense furies, shape-shifting transitions and wooly textures transmit elements of emo, dance-punk, and orchestral-pop into alternative metal's pot. The knotted guitar chords on Those Long Forgotten are entangled in taut string series comparable to The Bled, and the rippling guitar shreds on Brood are buttressed by intervening vocal flourishes liken to As Cities Burn. The chunky bass throbs, howling guitar cuts, and hammering drum strikes on tracks like Retreat and The Truth Behind are lush while being brash and inflaming. The melodic pitch of the guitar flusters on This Pathogen Heart and If Eyes Could See flex into a strong-hold as the clenching vocals soar and push through the gauntlet of hardcore-tinged melees. The vocals are obstinate through the skirmishes of serried flutters which seethe, erupt, and change their forms and rhythmic chaining. Love Was Not Enough is close to AFI in it's metal-rock orientation, while the dance-punk rhythms and flying guitar chords of Another Day have a Coheed & Cambria vibrancy. The heart-beating thumps in the guitar rotations for It's All The Same are cauterized into the emo-punk rhythmic rolls, and the hardcore textures and subliminal melodic contrasts of Yet To Come are entrapped in guitar lifts and arching vocals.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics sometimes have symbolic meaning like in Brood when lead vocalist Ben Williams reams: Darkness drapes the mind in our worst fears/Hear the voices of death begin to cheer/Shades of black unveil our destiny/ Come to life parade our misery. He has an Edgar Allan Poe style in his symbolism, but then at times, Williams shows a more human and practical side to his lyrics like in Retreat when he sings: Keep you close/I'll keep you near/I hope you know you have my heart/You could tear my world apart/So take my hand and we will leave/Keep all these treasures and retreat. Williams fluctuates his lyrics between optimism and pessimism like a roving pendulum. His lyrics add boldness to the music's knotted entanglements and heightens the songs emo rock-cality.
Overall Impression — 9
Band members Ben Williams (lead singer, guitarist), Nick Brown (lead guitarist), Austin Mitchell (bass), and Shawn Kobayashi (drums) keep the fires of nu-metal bright. The band's lancing guitar trills and melodic breakdowns and buildups create interspersing eruptions and tightly wind harmonies. The drum loops slice as the guitars discharge brilliant flame throwers producing expansive flurries and complex coiling action. The fiery accelerants compounded by stout vocals and stringent violin series erect a conflation of dynamics sealing taut chord winding with pummeling beats and testosterone fueled blusters. The album is a reawakening of nu-metal as well as a tribute to it's relevance and genuineness to portray human plight.