Well it’s pretty fair to say that the reviews that others have given this album are quite mixed. I see alot of people have made mention to thier deteriorating style, and thier slow transition into a more melodic metal band. For me, personally, I dont mind this album at all, I think it has it’s moments, and although I am a huge fan of their earlier releases, I still think this album does ok.
To begin with, i’m sure alot of people have judged this album quite harshly. We mustn’t forget that this album followed their self-titled release, which is in my opinion (and many, many others) as their best release to date, followed closely by “Beauty and the Breakdown”. These are two mammoth releases which followed each other consecutively. For a band of the same calibre to top the quality dished out on these two albums would not be unheard of, but quite rare. I believe the biggest turning point is the new vocalist. Myke Terry proved that he was a good replacement after the departure of Matty Bruso. Terry proved in the self-titled release that he could mix it with the big boys in the metalcore scene with his remarkable intensity, although it would appear he has weakened a grade for this release.
Im not making a reference to his use of clean vocals, in fact, im all for the vocalist using cleean vocals in cooperation with screams and growls, as it shows the spectrum of talent that the vocalist posesses. His clean vocals create catchy choruses for many of the tracks, and in an ever-growing metalcore scene, this is essential as it makes the tracks more memorable puts them a cut above the rest. Clean vocals aside, i believe Terry’s screaming and growling in this release were, to say the least, pathetic. In the track “Broken Body” he uses distortion to make his growls seem more surreal. Most vocalists dont need this as thier voice is enough, though, BYD have tried to add intensity to an ordinary scream, and it has backfired tremendously. Then we have the tracks “Legacy Of Ashes” and “The Great Demonizer” where Terry displays two completely different styles of screaming, far from similar to anything displayed on this album. I’m all for diversity, but not when it comes to scream styles. The screams and growls can be the signiature sound of the band, the way we can recognise them from the others, and here he has destroyed their originality by doing something completely unorthodox, and not benefitting at all.
So i have to give this release 3 stars, despite my disappointment with the vocals. Instrumentally, BYD have become more intense and explosive, but in return have traded in thier ruthlessness for a more melodic sound. I dont mind melodic bands in the metalcore scene, although it has to be executed well, BYD havn’t done that in this release. 3 stars because it is catchy, intense and explosive at times, yet at the same time, I give it 3 stars because they have slipped into mediocrity with this release, and in my opinion, are more towards the lower end of the scale of this mediocrity. A slight disappointment from a band who once showed they were greats of the metalcore genre, now, they are the …grapes of the genre.