Artist: Motionless In White
Release Date: 15th September 2014
Label: Fearless Records
When Motionless In White began to gain recognition in 2010 with their debut album Creatures, they were mostly viewed as another band looking to add themselves to the glut of mid-range metalcore outfits that infested the late noughties. They might have had a slightly more extreme look than most of their contemporaries and a vaguely clever conceit of basing some of their lyrics around horror movies, but the songs themselves were mostly just more of the slightly electronic metalcore many people were already bored of. Then came their second album Infamous and the entire game changed. Gone was the cookie cutter metalcore and in its place was a fiendishly catchy reimagining of Marylin Manson-style gothic shock-rock with added brutally heavy guitar work and synths. The old fans were horrified, but everyone else finally sat up and paid attention. Here was a band who weren’t content to just be one of the crowd, Motionless In White were no longer just another metalcore band, they had evolved. With their third album Reincarnate, the band continue their evolution and finally complete their transformation into not just a genre-defying metal band, but worthy successors to Mr Manson’s grimy gothic crown.
Things get off to a powerful start with ‘Death March’ a true battle cry of a song, filled with gang vocals, and featuring a stomping industrial opening reminiscent of Rammstein at their most angry. The sing builds to a huge chorus with a fist pumping chant of ‘Death march’ and lyrics such as ‘My enemy will not be the end of me’. Next up we have the album’s title track, which was its first single, and provides one of its finest moments. A total anthem for the downtrodden, for anyone who’s ever wished they could reinvent themselves, it practically fizzes with rage and features the kind of caustic put-downs everyone wishes they could think of on the spot including: ‘Bitch, you’d give a fucking aspirin a headache’.
Make no mistake about it, Reincarnate is an angry album, but the anger in these lyrics is controlled and clever. Nowhere is this clearer than on ‘Everybody Sells Cocaine’, which attacks many of the same themes that were seen on ‘AMERICA’, from the band’s previous album but does so in a more insightful way. Lyrics like ‘If I take the pain away, you’ll come back for more someday’ seem to recognise the inevitability of suffering and addiction, rather than just railing against it. Something else that really comes through on this album that wasn’t always obvious on Motionless In White’s previous work is the excellent singing of Chris Motionless. On Reincarnate he gets the opportunity to show off chameleon-like vocal skills, transitioning smoothly from throat shattering growls to a powerful melodic vocal on ‘Puppets 3’, and even showcasing an almost-gentle croon on ‘Contemptress’ and ‘Wasp’.
So, overall, Reincarnate is going to be another album which irritates the purists who think Creatures is the best album Motionless In White have ever recorded and just wish they would get back to cranking out mid-range metalcore for the masses. However, if you’re not one of the aforementioned purists, you owe it to yourself to pick up a copy of Reincarnate. It takes the progress Motionless In White made with Infamous and builds on it to create a truly impressive, polished and original work. In a music scene where so many bands are simply cranking out the same album over and over again in the vain hope of not upsetting the faithful, nothing deserves higher praise.
Buy Reincarnate on iTunes for £7.99 here