In my humble opinion, Metalcore has, shall we say, run its course. As always, there are staunch, vocal supporters of any given genre or sub-genre or sub-sub-genre, but I don’t think anyone would disagree that Metalcore as it was first defined doesn’t really exist anymore. Bands like Every Time I Die, initially and probably correctly labeled as Metalcore, have helped lay that silly moniker to rest.
So where does a band like Every Time I Die fall now on the spectrum? There’s no easy answer, and I have to imagine they like it that way.
Yeah, they’re metal… ish. There’s some very obvious Southern Rock influence. They’re even a little mathy and can more than hold their own in any kind of technical showdown (are there Riff-off’s? If not, there should be). They’ve got a little Hardcore in them, as well. Lyrically, they’re biting and drenched in subtle satire, eloquently so, considering the sometimes obtuse nature of heavy music. And live? They are sometimes comedically good, often great - raucous, engaging, committed, and, as mentioned, comedic, the combination of distinct, and distinctly weird personalities creating a vibrant and intense show filled with riffs, a whole lot of movement from the crowd and band, and some between songs banter that amuses as much as it can confuse those not aware of just how self-aware the band really is.
Touring in support of their insanely great mid-2014 effort From Parts Unknown, Every Time I Die find themselves reaching into aggressive and progressive reserves they’d only hinted at on albums like New Junk Aesthetic. Teaming up with Converge’s Kurt Ballou, ETID crafted an album as ferocious and gritty as some of their earlier releases like Hot Damn! and Gutter Phenomenon, but cleverly and expertly combined with their signature sound post-The Big Dirty. In addition to seeking out the sonic guidance of Ballou, ETID enlisted such disparate musicians as Sean Ingram of Coalesce and Brian Fallon of The Gaslight Anthem (imagine Springsteen singing on a Metallica album and you kind of get the idea) to lend vocals to two equally disparate tracks.
Thrashy, brash, sarcastic - I feel like there are only so many ways to describe a band that, to me, is one of the most invigorating, challenging, and exceptional heavy music acts of the past decade. But, you know, I once saw their vocalist drink beer out of a dude’s prosthetic leg and thought it was hilarious, so maybe my opinion is a little skewed.
Should you find yourself in the mood, Every Time I Die is currently on tour as direct support for The Used and will be at Bogart’s this Friday, April 17th, along with Marmozets and The Eeries. Wear your party hats.