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Miss May I
“Rise Of The Lion”
by: Gabe Nye
Miss May I is a band that has gained incredible momentum since their debut album in 2009. Not only that, but in the last five years they’ve been around, they’ve released four full-length studio albums. This is an incredible feat for any band, especially considering how well each album has done. Each release has peaked higher and higher on every chart, and the band’s success has only grown. However, this is inversely proportional to the quality of their music. I myself am a big fan of the band, however their latest release, Rise of the Lion, only proves that their music is on a steady decline.
Miss May I’s debut album Apologies Are for the Weak is easily one of my favorite metalcore albums. However, as time progressed, frontman Levi Benton mentioned time and time again how he wanted to move away from the metalcore sound that the youth these days are listening to (him being only 18 when the album was released) and move towards a more traditional metal sound. You can see elements of this in every release following the first, however because of this the music has simply gotten worse.
To start, Benton’s vocals sound completely blown out in Rise of the Lion. There is absolutely no dynamic range in his voice anymore, and it sounds like he’s struggling to sound menacing. Now I have never wanted to write a poor review of this band, as I absolutely loved their first two albums. It’s also not that the music in the album is bad. In fact, it’s not too shabby. However, it sounds like the whole album is composed of the same song.
The guitars are simply noisy and chaotic, not structured and singled out like they were in previous albums. There’s no one riff that differentiates one song from another, and it just sounds like electric noise instead of carefully written guitar parts. The drums are formed in a similar fashion, as there are no impressive fills or anything unique. They’re very bland. I’m not asking to be impressed with their talents, simply that the songs have some sort of quality that makes them unique.
I would say all in all that this album deserves a solid 2.5 stars. It’s not an impressive album by any means, as every element of the music is bland. The production itself is even poorly done, as it’s a struggle to find any low end coming through at all. If it weren’t for Benton’s iconic yet well-written lyrics of internal struggles as well as facing and overcoming challenges, this album would be rated lower. I’m very upset about this, as I was a huge Miss May I fan. I can only hope that their next album is the first step on the road to recovery.
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