The Lovers/The Devil review by Sworn In

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  • Released: Apr 7, 2015
  • Sound: 3
  • Lyrics: 3
  • Overall Impression: 5
  • Reviewer's score: 3.7 Poor
  • Users' score: 6.7 (10 votes)
Sworn In: The Lovers/The Devil
2

Sound — 3
The summer of 2013 was quite splendid for the metal/post-hardcore world. We had new releases from bands such as Black Sabbath, Children Of Bodom, August Burns Red, Norma Jean, and letlive. But during one of the final weeks of August, a band named Sworn In unexpectedly releases a new album. While they have released 2 EP's since 2011, it was the first time I had even heard of these guys. Being signed to Razor & Tie, with peers such as All That Remains, Chiodos, Finch, For Today, Hatebreed, Nonpoint, Norma Jean, P.O.D., Protest The Hero, Shadows Fall, Such Gold, The SwordSylar and (random to put the non metal band last, but) Yellowcard, you can tell Sworn In fits in just fine. All in all, it's mainly just a label that distributes merch during preorders, but it does tend to help the person who's never heard of the band to stumble upon them by checking out what else is on the label if they're already interested in a few bands there. While these guys have exploded in less than 2 years since their debut release "The Death Card," I only initially heard about these guys from word of mouth from friends. I was one of those people kind of stuck in the middle with this band. While the songs hit hard vocally, that's all there really is to it. I'm not saying they have to be technically insane musicians, but at least put in some thought while writing creative riffs, and I'll get to it in a minute for this album, but the lyrics on "The Death Card" were cringeworthy. But here I am buying the album simply because it almost seemed like a guilty pleasure at the time, and it felt like one of those moments where I felt like I've never heard of anything similar.

Well, 2015 me is shaking my head because now I look back and think, "Wow, they were really that inspired by depressing nu-metal and deathcore?" I mean, not to sound like an elitist prick, but while listening to this album, you can clearly hear their influences from Korn to Marilyn Manson to Emmure, and it just does not end up well. Take the drone-like voice of Jonathan Davis of Korn, fused with Marilyn Manson and that's basically Tyler Dennen in a nutshell, while the guitar riffs are at an insanely low tuning that sounds almost like Korn, but has the generic feel as of Emmure, so yeah, that's not going to end up well. "The Death Card" was, I guess a concept album. You'd see nu-metal/deathcore kids around wearing their tees with their XIII logo (yes I thought it was a cool thing back in 2013). Barely even a month later, and I get suggestions to look up bands similar to these guys, and well, while most of them sounded better, I think the only band that stands out from the rest is Barrier, but even then, they're not THAT unique. Basically, Sworn In started this "hatecore" trend, and I am not OK with it.

Now that Sworn In has gotten a ton of exposure, they are on this year's Mayhem lineup, and have toured a number of big named tours, and they're currently doing a headlining tour with The Plot In You, I Declare War, and Gift Giver (one of the bands I was suggested). The Plot In You is another band Sworn In sounds a bit inspired by, vocally, but in the end, this album falls up as an even bigger mess than "The Death Card," since it sounds like a bunch of influences were jumbled together to just sound like noise. I do fall victim to enjoying a few of Emmure's songs, but that's only because Frankie has uncleans that you are able to identify. Tyler Dennen's vocals just sound like any other typical deathcore vocalist. As for the sound on this album as a whole, though, I am reminded of the band Blindside, as far as cleans go, and a tid bit of the spoken word and depressive lyrics.

Lyrics — 3
While Tyler himself state in an interview that is another concept album, it doesn't do any justice towards the lyrics section. The blades on the album cover represent as each character, while the handles have horns coming out, so that means we all have lovers and devils inside of us. Check out the full interview here. Most of the lyrics on this album just come off as something an angsty teenager would write. From the opening track, "Sweetheart":

"Oh sweetheart, oh sweetheart
This is how we both start
Oh sweetheart, oh sweetheart
You're breaking my heart

Oh sweetheart, oh sweetheart
I'm tearing us apart
Oh sweetheart, oh sweetheart
You're breaking my heart."

"Sugar Lips" is even worse:

"Let me lick the dust off your lips
Bring me in with your hips
Tell me to take just one more sip
My minds about to f--king slip."

"Say my name
Say my name
You're my favorite little game
And it's such a shame
Things will never be the same

Say my name
Say my f--king name
You're my favorite little game
F--k."

Oh, but here's my favorite in "Oliolioxinfree":

"F--k me till I can think again
F--k me till I can feel again
F--k me till I can feel."

On that note, I think we've seen more than enough in this section.

Overall Impression — 5
The only reason why my overall impression is a 5 is because I do respect the idea of a concept album, and they did go with a cool idea, but the album itself just falls into the typical deathcore/nu-metal trend that we have all heard before, while going into full hate myself mode, and writing lyrics that are really come off as immature as something that I myself would be ashamed to listen to. Like seriously, if your parents heard a song from these guys they would immediately think you're depressed. I NEVER say that about other metal bands, but this one can really influence you, and like come on, there's way better stuff you can listen to rather than hearing lyrics like "F--k me till I can think again / F--k me till I can feel again / F--k me till I can feel" unless you want to look like a whore.

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Ultraussie
    In my personal opinion Sworn In come off as much more of a hardcore kinda band, with a slight progressive influence The nu metal doesnt really influence them much besides the high pitched whammy guitar harmonics from bands like emmure I like their lyrics because they're emotional, and there's NOTHING WRONG with making depressive music, making depressive angsty music isnt a bad thing, it's a form of personal expression. Tyler's vocals are hardly deathcore either, way more hardcore. He doesn't have that tone colour or range
    vppark2
    This just came to my mind after attempting to listen to Scissors, but these guys kind of sound like Tokio Hotel too. Ugh...
    Ibeanez
    The fact that those lyrics would make it on to any finished recording is just sad and pathetic.
    registered_user
    Definitely agree with the opinion on the lyrics. I thought it was still a pretty entertaining listen overall.
    vppark2
    Watch out for the super edgy Sworn In fanboys who will downvote you if you have a differing opinion.
    jesusofpaign
    I think The Death Card was a better album, overall. A more enjoyable listen. But The Lovers/The Devil I thought was a better concept album. I think they really got across the sort of weird eclectic almost binary nature of their songs on the new album; the aggressive verses, and then an almost jarring transition to odd clean choruses. I dig both albums, but I find myself jamming the first one in the car more often.