Sound — 6
I'm not 100% on this but after listening to the latest release from The Plot In You, "Could You Watch Your Children Burn", I'm pretty sure songwriter Landon Tewers is p-ssed. This is the second full length release from the band, following 2011's "First Born". Tewers handles most of the heavy lifting on the album (guitars, bass, vocals, and production) with Cole Worden taking up drums duties. The Plot In You have always been a heavy hitting yet simplistic band. They've never really pushed the limits with technical playing but the riffs are elegant and straightforward. Little variation between songs hampers this album in a big way, making it difficult to distinguish between many of the tracks. You can definitely tell that there is only one person playing all of the guitars and bass. Breakdowns litter just about every song and are more effective in some than others. The album does find one way to distinguish its sound. There are samples of dark, dirty, and disturbing sounds sprinkled throughout, creating a very gritty, angry aesthetic that is pretty unexpected and unique (the end of "Digging Your Grave" even features a p-ssing solo!) It's odd sounding at first but that's clearly the point of it being there, to create a sense of unease. There's also a break from the constant barrage of darkness and breakdowns, with the last three songs being more anthemic and even on the lighter side at times.
Lyrics — 6
Tewers handles both the clean and unclean vocals for the entire album. There are dirty lows screams, piercing high screams, and gritty cleans. The lyrics are something that The Plot In You has always been known for. The lyrics from the previous album, "First Born", were based around a concept of a child abuse victim from birth to adulthood. That kind of subject matter is obviously very dark and I was curious as to how Tewers would follow that up. "Could You Watch Your Children Burn" is more of a mixed bag of subjects but they all remain heavy and very personal. Some of the themes include rape, being anti-religion, and revenge. The heavy hitting riffs do pair well with the lyrics but it seems, at times, that they're simply trying to hard to be crazy and spiteful. The lyrics of "First Born" seemed like they came from a more genuine place, whereas these seem a bit forced, like there's something that needs to be proven.
Tewers himself is a very competent vocalist in both unclean screaming as well as clean singing. You can tell that he was going for a more gritty sound in every aspect of his vocals on this record, even the cleans. They don't seem as polished in spots where they could've been, which can be a positive and negative thing depending on that particular part.
Overall Impression — 6
Overall I'd say that The Plot In You has a fairly unique place in the Rise Records roster. They're certainly not pushing any boundaries and breaking down walls but intensity can be felt throughout the records and the songs seem like they'd translate well live. The strongest song on the record by far is "Troll", which has a couple twists that differentiate it from the others. The flow of the album as a whole is what stuck out as the most positive aspect overall. As the record progresses the songs move from heavy to light with surprising ease. The counterpoint to this is that the first 6 or 7 songs are fairly similar to each other. It might not be fair to look at it this way but I'd say that this is a pretty forgettable record and a slight disappointment after "First Born".