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The Word Alive – Life Cycles

| 17 September 2012 | Reply

Label: Fearless Records

Release Date: July 3, 2012

Rating: 7/10

Reviewed by: Emily Hubbard

The first time I heard of The Word Alive was when I went to go see Attack Attack in November 2010 and they were opening.  The Word Alive was there in support of their new album at the time, Deceiver.  Now, almost two years later, The Word Alive has released their second studio album, Life Cycles, and has become a staple in the metal-core scene.

“Dragon Spell” is the album opener and it is easy to tell right from the start that this album will be a unique one with the electronics The Word Alive is known for sounding almost like a music box.  Tyler Smith’s vocals come in strong and are great paired with the clean vocals. “Wishmaster” has a really cool fade in intro that is definitely made by Luke Holland’s incredible drum playing. He joined the band earlier this year and was definitely a good pick.  When “For Your Health” starts, the anticipation can be felt for what will come next, and it does not disappoint. “Entirety” sounds like it would be great in a mosh pit when played live. The song starts off hard and stays that way all throughout. Daniel Shapiro has an amazing bass solo half way through that is pretty unexpected, but really adds to the song. “Bar Fight” starts off with crazy guitar solos by Zack Hansen and Tony Pizzuti.  The chorus makes me want to sing along even though I don’t even know all the words yet.  The breakdown in this song is by far the most “down and dirty” so far on the album and would get the crowd really going at a live show.

“Life Cycles” is the title track of the album and is different than the other tracks off the album.  The clean vocals take the lead instead of the screaming, which is a nice touch and creates a good contrast to the other songs on the album while not taking away the style the band is known for.  “Evolution” starts off the most hardcore of all the tracks so far and the metal influence can definitely be heard in the guitar work.  “Hidden Lakes” is a pretty good song, but I don’t think there is necessarily anything different about it than other songs in this genre.  The breakdown is another one that would be fun to experience in a mosh pit. “Ambitionary” starts off with a really cool electronic part that makes you want to hear more and it’s worth it when the rest of the song comes in.  The anticipation builds throughout and it’s obvious to tell something big must be coming up, but then it never really comes.

“Live a Lie” is probably the equivalent of a ballad on other albums.  The vocals sound much more emotional and the pairing of the clean and screaming vocals in the chorus is really cool sounding.  I also really liked the electronic breakdown in the middle.  “Belong” starts off super strong with a heavy breakdown.  The verses make me want to head bang and the choruses make me want to sing along.  I think this track is definitely one to check out. “Room 126” is another track that should be checked out. Halfway through there is a really good guitar solo, which sounds great wedged between the screamed verses and sung choruses. Then comes a super hard breakdown followed by a quiet part.  The contrast in this song makes it super unique and fun to listen to. “Astral Plane” is a strange way to end the album. It is super slow and soft compared to anything else on the album and has almost no screaming vocals. It’s a good song, but it confuses me why it is the closing song on this album.

When I heard the first couple tracks, I was slightly disappointed in this album, especially since I’d been a fan of the band’s first album.  The rest of the album is a roller coaster of really good songs and songs that are pretty good, but could have been written by anyone.

Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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