REVIEW: The Word Alive – ‘Real’

The Word Alive

Artist: The Word Alive
Album: Real
Genre: Metalcore
Label: Fearless Records

Over the years The Word Alive have slowly carved themselves their own unique place in the metalcore scene. With each release the group’s sound has changed as they discover new techniques and grow as musicians.​ Though they have been together since 2008, they didn’t really gain any mainstream notoriety until the release of their debut full-length, Deceiver.​ They are known for the energy they put behind their music as well as the passion they display on stage. When most fans think of the band in concert they will more than likely think of Telle doing backflips on stage. It’s that kind of energy and passion they put behind every element that makes up who they are.

Many fans will notice right away that Telle has changed up his singing style just a bit. This has been a change that’s slowly occurred over the last couple releases, but seems to be a bit more noticeable on this album. It may have a little to do with the production, but there’s an undeniable shift in both his clean and unclean vocals. There aren’t a lot of metalcore bands out there where the frontman does a majority of​ both​, ​so c​onsidering Telle does as such, it’s impressive to hear the development of his style between each album. Though Deceiver is by far my favorite album they’ve released, he has done a great job juggling both vocal styles on all of them.

“Play The Victim” was the first single off Real that the band released. It also happens to be the first track on the album. This is one of my favorite tracks, and I believe it’s one of the best overall.​ “Never Forget” is the second song on the album. Though it does not do much for me lyrically, the guitars are worth mentioning. The opening riffs are reminiscent of past albums and is an element that I would love to hear a little bit more of from the group. The third song is another single the band released shortly after “Play The Victim,” which is titled “Broken Circuit”; another noteworthy track. It’s one of the heavier songs, and it has some of that ferocity like we heard on songs like “The Wretched.”

​TWA have had a number of anthem-like songs over their career – most notably the title track of Life Cycles. “Light House” is the anthem song for this album. It has a positive message, and is something fans everywhere can relate to. Another awesome song that should be noted is “Glass Castle.” This is another relatively heavy song with plenty of bite to it. In addition to that, it has one of the catchiest choruses out of all of the other songs. Nine songs in, the band changes up their style just a little bit and delivers a song titled “Terminal.” The lyrics talk about being unable to be someone’s hero, or to be a person someone could look up to.

Some time ago the band let fans know that Real would be a bit of a mix between Deceiver and Life Cycles. The band certainly delivered on that promise. Though there isn’t anything that sounds quite like “​Hounds Of Annubis” or “Eternity,” there are elements you will hear throughout the album that should give some long-time fans some nostalgia.​​ It’s great to hear so much emphasis on all of the elements in each song, rather than it being strictly vocal, guitar or drum heavy.

I like and I dislike the closing track, “Collapsing.”​ It has a great message, and it sounds very similar to some of the tracks off Life Cycles. The problem I have though is with some of the unclean vocals. You’ll know which ones I’m talking about. ​This is the only song that he really attempts to hit those high screams and it almost seems forced. After the first listen I was not into them. As I’ve had the chance to listen to the song a few more times though I’ve appreciated what he’s trying to do. I think most musicians would have gone in the opposite direction and if it were anyone else chances are they would be trying to throw in some deep growls. It’s an interesting choice, and I think I would be happy to hear something more similar to “Astral Plane.”

All of the songs on Real are good. ​There are a few songs that seem to just be filler, but overall the album is a great listening experience. ​Whether you have been a fan since the beginning, or only recently discovered the group, you should have no problem getting into this album. I don’t think this band is going anywhere any time soon, and I for one look forward to hearing their future efforts for years to come.

SCORE: ​8/10​
Review written by Kriston McConnell

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