01 Nov 2021 - Sebastian
Metalcore / Mathcore | Epitaph | Release date: 22 Oct 2021
The mighty Every Time I Die return five years after their last album Low Teens with Radical. Did they use the long break to refine their already impressive skills or do they present us a lackluster compilation of songs?
”Spare only the ones I love, slay the rest!” These are the first words Keith Buckley screams in our ears. ”Dark Distance” directly shows us what to expect of Radical and that will be hard hitting riffs, gut-wrenching screams and breakdowns of which younger bands should take note. This song also instantly let’s us know, that ETID are still pissed and keen to present it to us.
”Planet Shit” is all about how ugly the present is, with racism, anti-semitism and nationalism running wild in many countries. Keith Buckley strictly envisioned Mitch McConnell when he wrote this song. The anger is directed at the “evil old white people”. After three songs it is already evident, that Radical is a truly radical album. Inwards and outwards. It displays personal beliefs (good and bad) and the radical changes necessary to go from a ‘shitty planet’ to even just an ‘ok planet’. ”Hey, look on the bright side. There’s nowhere but up from a canyon in hell.”
It is very obvious which topic ”All this and War” is about, especially when you listen to the lyrics. This very angry song also shows some desperation in Buckley’s voice, because this endless cycle of war has been going on for so long, people start to accept it as it is, unwilling to change.
At the halfway point of the album, we are presented with ”Thing with Feathers”, a tribute to Jordan and Keith’s sister Jaclyn, who passed away. The song also features Andy Hill from Manchester Orchestra as guest vocalist. His very distinct voice bears a sense of hope and sadness at the same time. This is by far the calmest song of the album and gives the listener the chance to take a breath and calm down, before the album picks it up again with ”Hostile Architecture”.
When first hearing ”White Void” I had to check if it features a guest part of Tim McIlrath (Rise Against), but no, it does not. The song is quite melodic and not as hard, at least not at the beginning. We still have four songs left on this fantastic album, which is quite long with its 16 songs and 50 minutes run-time, but after five years without a new full-length by ETID, it is just enough to quench the thirst. What is really impressive from the first song on, is the production quality of Radical. It sounds dense and heavy, while at the same time having a sense of air to it and not feeling suffocating or not having enough dynamics. When you find out who is the producer of the album, it is quite obvious why it sounds as good as it does. Will Putney, who has produced some of the best Metalcore and Extreme Metal albums in recent history, sat behind the faders of this one too.
In their daily lives people often have to submit to someone in a higher position. If there’s no such person, they can feel lost and look for someone who may tell them what to do. Even in relationships there might be one part always deciding on what to do next; ”sexsexsex” is all about that and even though it might seem to be about sexuality, it is not as Keith Buckley stated. ”So, I made this song seem like it’s about sexuality, but it’s not. It’s about an energy exchange.”
”We Go Together”, the final album, asks all the existential questions: Who are you? Where would you be without love? Without pain? Without all the things you have experienced? And what will be left of you when you vanish of the face of the earth? It gives no answers to any of these, but leaves it to you to think about it and figure it out.
So, to answer the question from the end of the first paragraph: Was the wait for this album worth it? Definitely! Every Time I Die’s sound and music is quite unique and with Radical they have released another fantastic album. We can only hope that the next one won’t take five years. On the other hand, if we then get another hour of aural bliss, it might well be worth the wait.