Sound — 8
Deathcore bands are a dime a dozen these days and they all sound about the same, however Upon A Burning Body has managed to stay at the front of the pack in their relatively short career to this point. Their third release titled "The World Is My Enemy Now" is not as much a departure from their previous sound, but it does have a few elements that set it apart from your run of the mill deathcore. Calling San Antonio Texas home, their southern flair comes through in a couple songs which for a new deathcore release is territory few are brave enough to venture into. Complete with a Mexican style acoustic interlude, this is my favorite UABB release to date. Over 12 tracks, the albums spans just over 40 minutes. I can honestly say, my attention was held the entire time. Each track has a different element that kept my ears more than entertained.
The best track in my opinion is "Blood, Sweat and Tears." My only complaint is that it is track number 10, if it were up to me I would have placed this track closer to the beginning of the album but a strong finish another good reason to have it towards the end too. This track also features vocals from Matt Heafy of Trivium and his vocal addition definitely adds a different dynamic making this a very successful collaboration. Another stand out track for me is track 6 titled "The New Breed." This track features a Pantera-esque riff driven intro. For the genre, the composition and writing of the music is far better than expected. The introduction of some clean singing while done very well, sorta has a strange fit in some areas, it feels forced. An example of this would be during track 11 "I've Earned My Time" which also features a synth fill which seems a little out of place. This track is a little confusing within the context of the rest of the album.
Lyrics — 6
Lyrically this release is not much of a departure from usual deathcore lyrics, so I won't bore you with the same line from every hardcore song. The vocal style championed by many deathcore bands is very much in the front of the mix, the vocal sound in my opinion is what can make or break a band in this genre. In UABB's case it works very much in their favor. "The World Is My Enemy Now" has me conflicted in a number of ways vocally speaking, but don't confuse these for being complaints or marks against the band, view them as mere observations. First the scream/growl vocals are done really well and are an improvement from "Red. White. Green." Vocalist Danny Leal really showcases a range of screams and lows comparing very well to Mitch Lucker (rest in peace) formerly of Suicide Silence. Leal does a fine job behind the mic and his performance is commendable. Now I don't have a huge problem with the clean vocals, but like I stated above they just feel a little out of place and forced. Vocals on the last two tracks are a mix of both screams and clean singing and feel like they would fit better on an A Day To Remember album than an UABB record. Maybe this is the band maturing or branching out (which is totally fine and I commend them for it), but when bands adopt the same clean singing with screaming I tend to not a fan. It was cool 10 years ago when Underoath was the only band doing it, but since then it seems more and more bands have copied it. In UABB's case, the clean vocals are a nice addition. Vocal delivery and subject matter fit well with the music and I am a fan of clean vocals, I just wish they were more creatively delivered.
Overall Impression — 7
Overall "The World Is My Enemy Now" is I feel a pretty good release and it did exceed my expectations. The band's effort to make some sound changes is obvious and while I applaud them for doing so, some of the changes (mainly clean vocals) are a little distracting; I think it's an improvement from "Red. White. Green." however. A few tracks worth checking out are "Scars," "The New Breed" and "Blood, Sweat and Tears." I would not mind buying it again if something happened to my copy. I do like the addition of the clean vocals; I just wish they were applied differently. "Blood, Sweat and Tears" is my favorite track on the album. I would recommend this album to fans of Suicide Silence, All Shall Perish and Winds Of Plague.