More diverse new album from metalcore heavyweights
Black and white, sweet and sour, America and Iraq – contrasting elements always create something a bit special when used in conjunction, and music is no exception. Fusing quiet and loud sections within the same song is certainly nothing new, and whilst it’s easy to be dismissive about this overused and somewhat passé technique, it pays to remember that doing so was once considered fresh and inventive, and it was Poison The Well who were amongst the first to successfully try. So whatever you do, don’t label them unoriginal – they’re one of the blueprints for the imitators, not one of the imitators themselves.
PTW are a bit like a musical Gollum – a tormented schizophrenic that can’t quite work out whether it prefers good or evil, shifting between caustic metalcore and beautiful melodic breaks that are at once uplifting yet somehow harrowing and sombre. The transformation isn’t actually as chaotic as it might seem however, as the pattern follows a fairly rigid formula of following a typically savage verse with a more soothing chorus. You could argue that this makes the change too predictable, cancelling out the benefit of using two such polar opposites together, but it actually provides an unexpected benefit by lending some order and balance to songs that could otherwise be too directionless to be listenable.
‘You Come Before You’; PTW’s third album to date, is more adventurous and accomplished than precursor ‘Tear From The Red’ (and that’s tear as in rip not cry, you emo bastard), and is also slightly more melodic overall, with greater emphasis on variation of tone and shade. Fans of the older albums need not fear though; it’s still heavy as hell in places – think of it as more an extra string to their bow, rather than a new bow altogether.
This is all well and good, but is it a better album than their last? Well that’s a tough question to answer, because years after it’s release I still get the same primal buzz from listening to ‘Tear From The Red’ as I did on the very first time, and whether or not ‘You Come Before You’ will achieve such longevity only time will tell. One thing is for certain though; the first impressions suggest that this could go down as a veritable classic, and presents itself as a CD that is more than worthy of your consideration.