Review : Benjamin Coe
The year is 1998. The place; Buffalo, New York. Two guitarist buddies, Jordan Buckley and Andy Williams, decide to start a band with their drummer friend, Mike Novak. They round out the crew with Buckley’s brother Keith on vocals and bass player, John McCarthy and Every Time I Die is born, exploding onto an unsuspecting music scene.
Fast forward 20-odd years later and the band has become an unrelenting powerhouse and mainstay of the worldwide hardcore scene, known across the globe for their energetic live shows that have seen them match wits with the likes The Dillinger Escape Plan, The Chariot and Norma Jean. On top of this, they have bolstered a slew of releases underneath their belts, each one better than the last. 2021 will see the release of their ninth studio album, the aptly titled Radical, and add yet another notch on their bedpost of killer musical madness.
Boasting 16 tracks of pure, unadulterated hardcore, Radical starts out as strong as ever with the blistering Dark Distance and proceeds to one-two punch you directly in the face with a cry of “Spare the ones that I love, slay the rest!” before the band kicks into gear and gets going down the ultra-rocky road that is an Every Time I Die album. And everything that follows is pure gold!
Continuing with their tradition of left-of-center guest appearances (having collaborated in the past with artists such as Gerard Way of emo overlords My Chemical Romance and vocalist extraordinaire Brendon Urie), Thing With Feathers is a softer entry in the chaos that beautifully showcases the range of vocalist Keith Buckley matched with that of Manchester Orchestra’s front man Andy Hull. All This And War also features a nice little guest spot from ‘68’s main man Josh Scogin, although his appearance is less of a surprise and just adds to the intensity of the track.
White Void brings back that good ol’ Southern Rock vibe that these boys are well-known for incorporating into the madness of their music and it just works so well with Buckley’s vocals it’s ridiculous! But just as you get grooving to the solid rhythms, along comes Distress Rehearsal to chokeslam you back into oblivion with its punishing guitar attack and sheer ferocity. Just when you think they’ve done the best they can possibly do, Every Time I Die always ups the ante and puts out another grand release.
Once again, it’s impossible to fault this album. These guys are just flawless with every single release and like a fine, chaotic wine they just get better with age. Whether it’s the twin guitar assault of riff-lords Jordan Buckley and Andy Williams, the crushing rhythms of drummer Clayton “Goose” Hollyoak coupled with Stephen Micciche’s pounding bass guitar, or the signature howls, croons and screams of front man Keith Buckley along with his unmatched wordplay and expert level lyricism, these guys are just simply and consistently performing on another level.
Every Time I Die release their 9th studio album Radical via Epitaph Records on October 22.