Ex Lives (includes CD copy) (Vinyl)
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Vinyl LP pressing includes bonus tracks. 2012 album from Buffalo, NY's brutal metallic Punk ensemble. Ex Lives was produced by the renowned Joe Barresi (Tool, The Melvins, Queens of the Stone Age) and offers an unrelenting onslaught of ingeniously composed and furiously executed cathartic Hardcore. Ex Lives sees Every Time I Die further tempering their aggression while experimenting with new instrumentation.
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ETID has just put out a masterpiece of brutality and driving riffs that will leave you speechless at album's end. Only thing I recommend is that if you buy this album, buy the additional three tracks and get the Deluxe Edition, they are anything but fillers and you will be extending the experience that is Ex-Lives that much further. You will not be disappointed with this album if you've ever liked ETID. This is my new favorite release to date, right up there with Hot Damn.
Sure, there is plenty of old-school-esque Every Time I Die material to be had, here. For proof of this fact, proceed directly to the album's first two tracks, the Converge-meets-Dillinger Escape Plan-esque grinding opener that is "Underwater Bimbos From Outer Space" (which is filled with dirty, Unsane-like clangy bass grumbles and bruising hardcore breakdowns), and "Holy Book Of Dementia," an even more frantic and breathless mathcore sprint with thunderous double bass drumming.
But let it be known that "Ex Lives"' most remarkable and memorable moments are its most experimental ones. "A Wild, Shameless Man" is a much more restrained and in-control, mid-tempo chugger; and "Partying Is Such Sweet Sorrow" is a very catchy, Southern-tinged rocker with some catchy swing and (what sounds like) a banjo/hillbilly acoustic guitar. And "Revival Mode" is even more experimental still in that it very much could be a Soundgarden or Audioslave b-side, what with its Chris Cornell-derived vocals and the inclusion of something that could even pass for a guitar solo (!). And finally, the set closes with "Indian Giver," an ominously sludgy cut of full-on stoner metal that ventures into Baroness/Torche-inspired brooding territory and Southern-fried Sabbath-y riffs.
But do not get your knickers in a twist just yet, because these moments, as experimental as they may be, are surrounded by blistering blasts of math-y hardcore. "I Suck (Blood)" is backed by Motorhead-esque speed punk drumming, a catchy, swinging groove, and hooky, moderately clean/very intelligible vocals. And elsewhere, "The Low Road Has No Exits" is an even more brutal math/noisecore jaunt; and "Drag King" is yet another slab of throat-straining hardcore with freak-out guitars and a potent, memorable vocal refrain.
While "Ex Lives" is not a genre-redefining release, it is the next best thing: An inventive and even more innovative record, and easily one of the finest ever to bare the ETID nametag. Hence, it is a recommended listen to both fans and newcomers alike.
Maybe you'll relate with me on this, maybe not. I've always been one of those ETID fans who absolutely loves the band, is enthralled with their unique, manic sound, and yet never felt they managed to create an album that was filler-free; something that truly cemented their talents which was rock-solid from beginning to end. Long sigh: here it is. Oh, how I've been waiting for this.
I'll keep this short, but this album is basically everything I've wanted these guys to bring to the table ever since I first checked them out. It's all here: those psychotic, bludgeoning riffs that can turn on a dime. The clever breakdowns, mixed with some innovative tempos that you don't hear from anybody else. Keith's awesome singing, which can pivot from blood curling rage to silky smooth in a fraction of a second. Some stellar drumming. Yep, it's all here.
Anyone who might have been worried about the band's future outputs after Keith Buckley's foray into melodic hard rock territory with the side project The Damned Things (who produced an incredible album of their own, btw) have nothing to worry about here: this is most definitely an Every Time I Die album. In fact, it might just be me on this one, but this damn well seems like the heaviest thing they've put out since "Hot Damn!"... the riffs are brutal, the drumming is intense, and the production is sublime. I don't think the band has ever sounded better, production wise. Oh, and if you've grown attached to some of the more melodic sensibilities of the band's later offerings, no problem, you'll find them here too, they're just implemented a little more sneakily into the crushing heaviness. Just how I like it.
I'm in danger of rambling, but it's hard not to. I've waited for an album like this for a long time from these guys. The song writing is polished to a level I haven't heard before, and they've finally managed to find that perfect harmony between their schizophrenic and massively heavy early days with some of the more mature stuff they've been embracing in their last few albums. Sounds pretty awesome, right? Get it and find out for yourself.
Good job ETID boys as always!