I’ve had a bit of a surge of finding new bands recently; in particular metal bands, Every Time I Die, Feed the Rhino, Riverside, Primus, Royal Blood, Priestess and Faith No More, but this is probably the best one.
Every Time I Die is Metalcore; which is a popular genre nowadays, so there are many different variations of it, some good and some bad. For example; there’s Mathcore (The Dillinger Escape Plan), Melodic Metalcore (brilliantly portrayed by August Burns Red) and Easycore (the most popular form which All That Remains have unfortunately taken on). Every Time I Die are a band that know what they are doing: they do Metalcore right. Their music is a brilliant blend of Southern Metal, Thrash Metal, general Heavy Metal and Hardcore Punk: it has powerful riffs and thumping breakdowns in a cacophony of heavy – but very catchy – music which controls and varies its pace like any good Metalcore music should; it’s the sort of thing crazy metal heads would say “pumps them up”. But, with Every Time I Die, Hardcore fans are invited too, as they display some of the best Hardcore Punk I’ve heard in amidst all of the metal. It works well.
This, The Big Dirty, portrays all of the elements of Every Time I Die in a brilliant way. It’s the sort of music that someone hearing it who isn’t a metal fan would say: “Wow! This is Rock!” They would emphasise the word “Rock” and I would say to them, “This, my friend, is Metal.” But the great thing about this album is that its music can vary from thumpingly riff heavy Southern Metal/Groove Metal influenced bass heavy music with roaring vocals over the top, to fantastically fast and almost unrelenting Hardcore Punk. Another thing about the album is that it has an atmosphere to it: it is very aggressive, and maybe quite unpleasant; but this fits with the sound that the band make.
The album starts with a perfect opening song for an album like it is: No Son of Mine. It is aggressive, loud, catchy and with a great riff or two at the heart of it; with Keith Buckley (the singer) madly shouting over the top of it, carrying the aggression – but with precision; the song expertly changing in pace throughout and with a uniquely all over the place structure. It is a very good song.
The rest of the album carries on the aggression and the unpleasant theme; which is portrayed through the atmosphere and the lyrics, ranging from rotting children to hunters shooting off their own heads. But different things are explored – good things, I might add. Some songs purely concentrate on heaviness and breakdowns with Keith Buckleyonly roaring or shouting, and some are more like Hardcore Punk songs concentrating on melodies and a good ol’ thrashy sound with more singing and varied guitar work. And then there are those songs that mix the two styles, such as; We’rewolf, Rendez-Voodooand Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Battery: all of these songs are very, very good and have fantastic musical variety. On another hand, there are the songs that are the ones that ‘purely concentrate on the heaviness and breakdowns’: Pigs is Pigs, Cities and Years and A Gentlemen’s Sport, all of them exhibiting what I like to call ‘raw heaviness’, which is literally just power chords, heavy bass, drumming and roaring or shouting vocals. In A Gentlemen’s Sport, the structure of the song is really all over the place, every part of the song being unique and building towards the climax towards the end in which Keith Buckley’s voice goes brilliantly alongside an amazing, satisfyingly heavy and knee thumpingly good riff – which is also quite catchy. And then there are the hardcore punk – ETID edition – songs, that have a good heavy punk sound with great melodies with a good – and pretty cool – atmosphere: INRIhab, Depressionista and Rebel Without Applause.
But, when I listen to this and then something like Lamb of God; Lamb of God is the one that truly blows me away. I think that is because Lamb of God has a deeper texture to its music, is definitely the heaviest thing I have ever heard and the singer’s voice is pretty much perfect. This album by Every Time I Die never does anything spectacular: no matter how good it is. I think it is a little restricted by its genre and Kieth Buckley’s slightly off clean singing voice; it saddens me to say it, but it is definitely Metal for the younger audience and is something I could get bored of when I am older.
But I can’t be sure if I will get bored by ETID at any point, because it is so great and unique: no other band mixes Hardcore Punk with Metalcore so well. This is music I can enjoy.
I’m glad I came across ETID and got The Big Dirty as my first album by them. It may not be quite perfect, but Kieth Buckley and the bunch know how to make music I can sit down, listen to and enjoy. No other band has mixed Hardcore Punk and Metalcore so well as they have.
So I give it: 87/100.