Review by Shannon Shumaker
Miss May I’s fifth studio album admittedly has its ups and downs, but Deathless is sure to be a release that resonates with many of this band’s fans, and with good reason. Arguably Miss May I’s heaviest release to date, Deathless doesn’t really give listeners a chance to breath as it chugs forward with track after aggressive track. Opening with explosive “I.H.E.” and keeping the energy up all the way to final track, “Born From Nothing,” Deathless is absolutely explosive and proves just what Miss May I set out to accomplish: there’s not stopping them.
The intro to “I.H.E” is verging on haunting before throwing you into the first of many fast paced tracks on Deathless. Right off the bat, this song is aggressive and in your face, setting the tone for the album as vocalist Levi Benton screams, “I’m sick and tired of being pushed around.” While the chorus of “I hate everything/I hate everyone” would threaten to sound a little whiny or childish coming from any other band, Miss May I manage to pull off the simplistic lyrical work well. The angry chorus of “I.H.E” is sure to become an anthem for die-hard Miss May I fans.
Following explosive “I.H.E.” are unfortunately two of the more lackluster songs on Deathless; “Trust My Heart (Never Hope To Die)” and “Psychotic Romantic.” Lyrically, these two songs don’t quite hit the mark, but thankfully, there are other tracks on Deathless that make up for it. Again, Deathless does have its ups and downs, and that can be heard in these songs that come before the album’s strong title track. However, where “Trust My Heart (Never Hope To Die)” and “Psychotic Romantic,” lack in the lyrical department, “I.H.E.,” “Deathless,” and “Arise,” while rather simplistic lyrically, are memorable, and that’s what counts. “Arise” hosts some of the strongest clean vocals on the album, as well as a very strong balance between cleans and screams, which compliment each other well.
Musically, there are also some really cool elements to “Turn Back The Time” that set it apart from the rest of the album. While it seems that Deathless only has one speed - fast - “Turn Back The Time” stands out from the pack with a unique intro and a somewhat slower chorus. The following song, “Empty Promises” almost promises to be the much needed break in fast songs in the beginning, and while it is slightly slower, the quick drumming in the verses adds a lot of anticipation and aggression in the song, making it sound very similar to the rest of the album. The chorus of “Empty Promises,” however, is almost that break I’m looking for.
“Deathless” is a strong title track, especially when the song comes to a head at the very end with group “woah”s mixed with clean and unclean vocals. There are absolutely some strong points on this album, and the title track is one of them. While the “unclean verse, clean chorus” songwriting formula is admittedly a little overdone, Miss May I is definitely one of the bands that can pull it off well.
That being said, this album definitely isn’t game changing by any means. There are those shining singalong moments in the choruses and breakdowns that will surely have fans clambering for the barricade and singing along at shows, and there is also some really strong guitar work throughout the majority of the album, but it also doesn’t feel like something we’ve never heard before. Again, that doesn’t mean there aren’t some (if not many) strong moments on Deathless. About the band's struggles over the past few years, the passion, energy and aggression is definitely at an all time high in Deathless. This album is explosive, angry and raw - Miss May I have definitely accomplished what they set out to do.
Listen to "I.H.E." or "Deathless"
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