Absolutely and undeniably a game changer.
Label: Rise Records
Released: 9th September 2016
Of Mice & Men’s fourth studio album is goose bump inducing just seconds into its first track ‘Game of War’. The track is modest and mystical, an almost ethereal art piece that starts the journey of this colossal album.
Guitars on ‘The Lie’ yearn, with Austin Carlile’s voice as ferocious as ever, stamping the prodigious spirit Of Mice & Men have, while ‘Real’ retains the more accessible sound the band introduced on ‘Restoring Force’.
‘Like A Ghost’ is where things get really weird, snippets of System of A Down’s unconventionality, and a blinding Korn-like creepiness. Austin’s voice almost replicates that of Jonathan Davis’, following into ‘Contagious’ with riffs that are classic and relentless Of Mice & Men.
The record’s two instrumentals are imperative; the eerie ‘-‘ creeping into latest single ‘Pain’ can only be described as genius. Certifiably insane, it’s nothing short of iconic. A blend of old and new, ‘Pain’ is head-banging glory and ruthlessly explosive.
And if this album couldn’t get any better, rap metal is blasted with Beastie Boys agitation on ‘Relentless’. It’s nothing like the Orange County boys have ever done before, but again there’s echoes of Korn with sinister layered vocals.
The godliness of the strings on ‘+’ separate the record drastically, the last two tracks are ultimately calmer with Aaron Pauley taking the lead. It’s almost as if things have come full circle when you compare it to the aggressiveness that dominates most of the album.
On the last track ‘Transfigured’, he sings: “I’m finally okay with who I am today”, and on any other record this could be a sickly cliche – but it’s clear to see Of Mice & Men have been never better. They’re truly a force to be reckoned with, and so much more. ‘Cold World’ is absolutely and undeniably a game changer. Jasleen Dhindsa