After the soaring success of 2010 release Love Let Me Go and hit tours across the globe, a lot was riding on the release of 2014 offering What’s Left of Me to build on the sombre metalcore collection of odes that many are beginning to fall in love with. Though much like Love Let Me Go, What’s Left of Me builds on it in more ways than one creating an interesting listen to say the least.
From the very first grave notes of Asleep the album begins to take you on a journey with ethereal sounds and subversive instruments within the genre such as the addition of strings fighting against an ear-piercing feedback-esque affect creating an un-nerving introduction. This quickly dissipates into visceral single Weight of the World hailing the bands hardcore influences with gruff and passionate vocals though not used to their full potential and slightly weak and whining in areas. This is made up for thoroughly by the truly spine-chilling use of guitars within this track, swaying violently from high-pitched and wailing to almost in-audible, low and doom-mongering changing the feel of the song in seconds.
Title track What’s Left of Me bursts to life with booming drums and bass work with screaming guitars and angry lyrics that cut at the heartstrings as violently as the instruments thrash it out for dominance in this piece. Threshold however slows the release right down from a hard-core punk outfit to an experimental ambient track with lucid squeaks working against grungey guitars and echoing vocals in an otherworldly mash-up reaching an eventual and haunting crescendo before hurtling into Seasons Change and its thoroughly punk stylings that I maintain could be weaponized. From the get go it is a massive explosion of raw emotion contained only by the sheer technicality and precision of the actual music that leaves you itching for the eventual descent into chaos that you are lead towards.
Closing track Love is not Enough, a possible reflection on an earlier release, blows all of their previous works out of the water with a perfect mix of the primitive roots of hardcore and punk with the darkest and deepest bass line accentuating raw and resonating vocals, and the technical side of metal with fast-fret work and descriptive lyrics evoking the most powerful of emotions.
More Than Life do not just write music, they take you on a ride with their lyrics and their musicianship alike, offering something different to an audience after something different and a little more ‘out there’. With this release, that is exactly what you get and a lot more to boot, an essential addition to any music lover’s collection.