For Fans Of
When Every Time I Die put out a record, there’s an enormous amount of hype that goes with it. Like a well oiled machine, and with each album release, the hype is always met. Records like Ex Lives and New Junk Aesthetic become well worn, well loved favourites that age with the kind of delicate maturity that wine lovers would envy. For ‘From Parts Unknown’, this is no exception, but apart from the presence of The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon, there’s something decidedly different about the quintet’s seventh LP. A little bit of change might scare some people, but Every Time I Die are plundering head first into an album that is faster, madder and dirtier than ever before.
‘From Parts Unknown’ is introduced with ‘The Great Secret,’ a track that is initially suspended for a moment of anticipation, before releasing the trigger with that trademark ETID drop, where the brutality and crushing aggression sets in. ‘Pelican of the Desert,’ with its unrelenting torrent of pumping guitar leads, boisterous shrieks from singer, Keith Buckley, and punishing drum riffs, is no exception to the rule of’From Parts Unknown’, that being: hold nothing back.
Producer and Converge guitarist Kurt Ballou makes all the difference on this record. Where in the past ETID may have been dialing back the fury, it’s pretty clear by the time ‘Decayin’ With the Boys’ rolls around that a feverish sense chaos and little concern for accessibility, is what’s up on this record. Even so, its memorable singles like the aforementioned ‘Decayin’ with the Boys’ and ‘Thirst,’ which allow Buckley to work his somewhat theatrical clean vocal magic at the helm of these tracks, aren’t likely to be forgotten any time soon.
On record number seven, the band has sacrificed some of the variation seen on Ex Lives for an all out love affair with shredding guitar riffs, ear-assaulting vocals and discordant melodies. For ‘Exometrium’ and ‘If There’s Room To Move, Things Move,’ everything from the cutthroat instrumentals to the hysteria of the vocal delivery tends to intermingle into one solid rage fest. This, however, could be the first time Every Time I Die have thrown all caution and inhibition to the wind and made the calculated decision to focus on song writing that packs more punch than melody, and makes more friends in the hardcore playground than it will in any other.
That being said, there are songs on ‘From Parts Unknown’ that can’t be compared to any other. ‘Moor’ creeps up on us quietly with a sparse, deadbeat piano track hugging the hollow and leisurely commanding vocals of a more restrained Buckley. Unexpectedly and indeed, on one of the more thrilling moments on the record, the track drops once more into a slaughtering celebration of the near perfect balance ETID have established on this record. A balance between inexorable tracks like ‘All Structures Are Unstable’ and ‘Idiot’, and the more melodic ‘Old Light,’ which plays host to the warm, honeyed vocal abilities of Gaslight’s Fallon against the somewhat incongruous hostility of the instrumentals.
Every Time I Die may be into their 16th year as a band, but if anything is clear on ‘From Parts Unknown’, they ain’t going anywhere, any time soon. A record that is both thoughtful and punishing, their latest effort brings everything that’s big and bold to the table and leaves all the sentimentality behind. ‘From Parts Unknown’ may not be their best record, but it certainly is their most fearless to date.
1. The Great Secret
2. Pelican of The Desert" (featuring Sean Ingram)
3. Decayin With The Boys
5. If There Is Room To Move, Things Move
9. Old Light" (featuring Brian Fallon)
10. All Structures Are Unstable
11. El Dorado