November 14, 2014 Motionless in White – Reincarnate (Album Review)
Formed in 2005, Scranton, PA’s Motionless in White has been an ever changing force of nature crushing everything in their path. Once they released their full-length debut, Creatures, it was easy to see that this was more than just another metalcore act, and that they were destined to grow behind the genre. Staying true to that prediction, their 2012 follow-up album, Infamous, caught everyone by surprise with its Gothic undertones and Industrial back beats. Now, after finding themselves involved with every major festival and tour over the past two years, one could only imagine where the band would go next in their creative endeavors.
Led by Chris Motionless (vocals), Ricky Horror (lead guitar), Devin ‘Ghost’ Sola (bass), Ryan Sitkowski (rhythm guitar), and Joshua Balz (keyboards), Motionless in White are ready to satiate fans’ curiosity with their newest album, Reincarnate, which was released on September 16th. Following the departure of drummer Brandon Richter, the album features session drumming. Produced by the accomplished Dan Korneff as well as Motionless, the recording process for Reincarnate has been proclaimed by Motionless himself as having a much more relaxed environment than Infamous. With the benefit of time and a more creative, friendly situation, fans can now sink their fangs into Reincarnate.
“Death March” opens the record with repetitive drumming, an undertone of electronic noise, and a vocal style that is different from the majority of the album. Leaving many to wonder what will come next, “Reincarnate,” a worthy single, begins with a more melodic chorus and a variation in vocal styles which range from a whisper to a scream. Next, “Puppets 3 (The Grand Finale)” features guest vocals from Cradle of Filth front man Dani Filth. This is an extremely heavy track with drum triggers and plenty of growls making it almost take on a Black Metal feeling. Transitioning into a completely different sub-genre, “Unstoppable” is more progressive in nature and epic sounding. It’s still distinctly metal, but it’s also catchy with inspiring lyrics similar to the track “Underdog” from Infamous. The angry “Everybody Sells Cocaine” has a strong anti-drug message with the benefit of some emotional vocals and industrial melodies. The sexier sounding“Contemptress” features Maria Brink of In This Moment, who is easy to recognize with her characteristic screams and sensual voice contrasting Motionless’ melodic harmonies. This track is an instant hit.
Keeping the album going, “Break the Cycle” is a growly song with a disparate mix of styles. “Generation Lost” is similar in style to the first track, and with its shouted, almost rap-style chorus, it is also reminiscent of bands like Linkin Park and Papa Roach. Allowing for more variety, “Dark Passenger” is a mix between a very heavy, drum-triggered sound for verses and a pop-punk chorus. On the song “Wasp,” the band brings another guest in with Dessa Poljak from noir–jazz group Silencio, who conjures an eerie ethereal voice and a breathless and dark sexuality. Next, “Dead as Fuck” reminds one of Rammstein, and it’s followed by the strangeness of “Final Dictvm” featuring Tim Skold, a multi-instrumentalist best known for his time with Marilyn Manson and KMFDM. Lastly, “Carry the Torch” brings the album back to the extreme metal/pop-punk combination with plenty of light and shade. For those who purchase the album digitally, there is also a bonus acoustic version of Infamous’ “Sinematic.”
One thing people said about Reincarnate when the band began recording was that it would be more consistent in style than Infamous. However, that is debatable. As a result, the listener will find she likes some tracks, while being lukewarm about others. On Reincarnate it is not just the clean/scream distinction that is evident; it is a complete difference in genres which, at times, makes it hard to work out which way the music is headed. The guest artists featured on this album are evidence of this, being so wide ranging in their styles. From the Extreme Metal of Dani Filth to the Noir-Jazz of Dessa Poljak, it could not be more eclectic. This is a testament to Motionless’ disregard for genre pleasing, and he certainly continues to grow as a song writer. Overall, Reincarnate is an interesting album, and different tracks may provoke polarized feelings. CrypticRock gives this album 3.5 out of 5 stars.