Artist: Motionless In White
Album: Graveyard Shift
Released: May 5th, 2017
The fourth studio album from Scranton, PA metallers Motionless In White takes you by storm from the opening onward until the end. Opening track only leads you in intro for about eleven seconds before very deep, hard guitar riffs and back pounding bass drum kicks knock you out of any inactivity you may have been in.
“Rats” bulldozes forward with a very moshpit, jump up and down drive and a very awesome and surprisingly melodic chorus. One of the common things I love about post-early-90s metal is the ability and acceptance for metal vocalists to both growl and sing cleanly…often very beautifully. One of the pioneers of breaking down these boundaries was Burton C Bell of Los Angeles based Fear Factory who, after a very crunching debut album Soul of a New Machine, took a sledgehammer to walls of many stereotypes with their 1992 follow-up Demanufacture. Certainly among them, though hinted in their debut, was Bell flipping between one of the heaviest growls in metal at the time to one of the most sonic. “Replica” is certainly an example of this.
Of course, moving back to Motionless in White, following the chorus of “Rats”, Rickey or Devin’s backing vocals roar. Roaring into the second track “Queen For Queen”, the crunching guitar riffs gave very fond memories of bands such as Ohio’s metallers Chimaira (mostly active from 1998-2014), Dope, Spineshank, and so forth. However, they obviously are forging their own path as the vocals are often more reminiscent of Nothingface and certainly venturing into death metal and/or doom metal vocal styles. On a sidenote, sadly Nothinface vocalist Mike Holt passed away on April 15th of this year from a “degenerative illness” that he had been struggling with for awhile ( Loudwire ).
The album flows into “Necessary Evil” featuring Korn‘s Jonathan Davis. Though the song absolutely features some ultra heavy riffs and grooves, it left me with much to be desired. Though Davis isn’t credited in taking part in song composition, the “Korn-ish” chorus and chorus lyrics felt much lower than the drive of the rest of the album.
“Untouchable” is … nearly a hardcore-ballad? I almost feel guilty for saying that, though I mean it as a complete compliment. Pulling in keyboards/synth and instantly (from the start) having a very emotional drive and containing a very pretty chorus and chord progressions quickly has made it one of my favorites so far. It is ballad-ish but very, very dark. Much like Dope’s emotional “My Funeral" (a parting/goodbye anthem) smashed together very emotional, pleading vocals with an extremely dark atmosphere and message. Motionless in White succeeded in much of the same way, on their own terms.
I could literally sit and yap about each song, track-by-track, but the shorter version is for metal lovers (especially those who are either fans of Whitechapel and/or metal styles and techniques ranging from 1992-2008 or so),….if somehow Motionless in White were missed, do give a listen or grab the cd. My only regret is, even though I’ve known some about this band for a couple of years and liked them, that this band has strongly survived ten years now and I’m only now seeing what they are capable of and how powerful they are. This is no failure of the band, of course, but my circumstances and…honestly…silly mistakes.
Note: This review was originally posted on The Music Pavilion's previous site, musicbytes.us. Original Post: November 17th, 2017