August 12, 2014 Every Time I Die – From Parts Unknown (Album review)
The five-piece band from Buffalo, New York called Every Time I Die has been regular guests on the Billboard charts with every release since their 2005 output Gutter Phenomenon. Formed in 1998 by brothers vocalist Keith and guitarist Jordan Buckley, the band has never been easy to categorize to a single genre. To describe their sound, one has to mention that the material has always been like a punch directly to the face without missing technical finesse. Completed by founding member Andy Williams (guitar), as well as Stephen Micciche (bass) who rejoined the band in 2011 after a six year absence, and Ryan “Legs” Leger (drums), Every Time I Die continues to tear down boundaries in heavy music. Diving into more serious lyrical content on 2012’s Ex Lives, the band push the envelope further with From Parts Unknown in 2014.
From the first note of the opening track, “The Great Secret”, the band carve in stone that this album is a deathtrap for high blood pressure patients with brutality and aggression that leaves listeners breathless. The brief hardcore punk rattling of “Pelican of the Desert” keeps the listener’s heart pumping before giving way to single “Decayin’ With The Boys”. To merely sit down and listen to this track without wanting to get up and break something surely must mean the listener is bodily unable or perhaps dead. That same feeling is projected on tracks like “Overstayer” and “If There’s Room To Move, Things Move” where sharp and progressive guitars tones shine without disrupting the vocal cord acrobatics of Keith or the merciless rhythm section.
Expecting the unexpected, the song “Moor” marks a little break with its interesting and disharmonic vocals along with likewise low-tuned piano introduction that quickly turns out to another punch in the gut. Hearing the sheer intensity in Keith’s voice is startling, making each word bellowed shake the very core of the listener. Beside this exclusion, the album keeps the high-pace level coming fast and furious. The track “Old Light” showcases one of Keith’s most textured clear-vocal performances on the record with harmonies that are catchy and riffs that are razor sharp. Throwing another curve ball at the audience, the diversity of “El Dorado” takes on a rock-n-roll vibe with an unforgettable chorus, southern guitars, and Keith’s more melodic vocals; reminding one of Swedish punk hardcore pioneers The Refused and singer Dennis Lyxzén. These elements account for the wherewithal to breaking-up the album into a balanced attack of aggressive uninhibited hardcore jolts and raw rock influence.
With From Parts Unknown, Every Time I Die released perhaps their best album so far; for sure their most uncompromising one. The rampant aggression mixed with light country and southern rock makes the record feel like a thirty-two minute roller coaster ride with the clear rough production of veteran Kurt Ballou marking the dot on the I. From Parts Unknown is a speed ball of fun so new and old fans should arm up for an extraordinary listening experience, but do not forget the anti-hypertensive drugs! CrypticRock gives this album 4.5 out of 5.