The Word Alive – Deceiver
Record Label: Fearless Records
Release Date: August 31, 2010
You know, I don’t really like loud music - unless I’ve been drinking. But I also only like hockey when I’m drunk, so it’s kind of a crapshoot. Not that I even drink that much, either. I have a weak stomach and when you drink everything kind of tastes like crap. I’m much more of a fast foodie. Anything that gets in the way of that is my sworn enemy.
ANYWAY, yeah, I do like The Word Alive’s debut full-length, Deceiver. I might even love it and want to marry it. And this is me sober as a jaybird! Maybe my enjoyment is rooted in the fact that they kicked out the guy who created the band, which is just kind of hilarious, or that they do this neat thing with keyboards/synthesizers that seems to make even the heaviest parts old-guy-tolerable. Dusty Riach isn’t a name that sounds like much, but it is mostly because of this man's keyboard prowess that I’m not bleeding from an ear migraine right now. Well, that’s not entirely true. I also like the yelling of Tyler "Telle Smith." He was in another band that probably sounded like this, but now Smith’s in The Word Alive and his yell is like the darkest, angriest glue keeping this whole operation together. The range he displays is most apparent (and breathtaking) on “2012,” which is a total facepuncher. As it breaks down into a glitchy headbanger, Smith returns with clean vocals to knock our socks off with beautiful melody. Despite its schizophrenic and cluttered nature, "2012" succeeds in recreating the human emotion of fighting back. It’s a back and forth; it’s an uncertain future. It's a hole in the drywall.
While The Word Alive are most likely similar to their peers (have I shown my ignorance enough yet?), there is definitely astounding levels of musicianship going on here; there's some prodigy shit happening for sure. Guitarists Zach Hansen and Tony Pizzuti don’t spend the whole album pummeling us, instead choosing to mix in plenty of intricate finger wizardry with the gut kicks (“Consider It Mutual” is like one of those Sour Patch Kids commercial – both naughty and nice or whatever). And although there’s a song like “You’re All I See,” which channels the terrible “soft” closers A Day To Remember love so much, Deceiver for the most part knows its place as an angry, relentless metalcore album. Smith is often singing about overcoming this and that (and maybe God stuff?), but it works within the context of an album meant to create fist pumpage.
I mean, I admit that this isn’t a very informative review. I’m writing from within a vacuum here. So either it means this album is really good because I can sit through it (and have many, many times), or it means that Deceiver's some sort of watered down trash that even a pansy can take. Whichever side of the leather-studded fence you sit on is kind of irrelevant to me, because I’m definitely frolicking in a field of heart-pounding drumming and choruses that soar like rocket ships. Also in that mythical field? Trees covered in tattoos that spout jack and coke instead of sap! And that’s my time! You’ve all been…tolerant.
Recommended If You Like: In Fear and Faith, Greeley Estates, blessthefall, Escape The Fate - maybe none of those bands also
I was really surprised by this album. I really enjoy it, and they're the only band out of this genre of synthcore that I actually like. I thought it killed BMTH's new album, though the album art is still terrible.
I've always liked the way you score things, too. Even though you liked the album, you're truthful about its shortcomings.