It’s been five years since metalcore giants MyChildren MyBride have released new music. The absence has been felt twice as hard with the hiatus of too many bands in the same genre. Down to just two band members, MCMB travels into uncharted territory with this long awaited album.
The theme of the album becomes clear during the first song, and it’s dramatic and hard to relate to. The world of gothic vampires surrounds the entire album in both lyrics and the musical waters. It could pass nicely for a song or two, but throughout the album it becomes too much. The lyrics are gloomy, melodramatic, and repetitive in nature. Musically, it’s like they took the style from their previous hit single “God of Nothing” and explored it to the tenth degree. Marilyn Manson-like vocals cover various points in the album and fail to achieve the eerie feel they were meant to serve and end up being obnoxious.
Vicious World begins with “XeN0.” Strange song title name aside, the song starts the LP on a positive note. Matthew Hasting’s iconic scream comes into play with the same huge sound we’ve come used to over the years. The chorus brings to light the vampire theme with the lines, “We’ll abandon the sun, and the warmth it brings. Please just let me in, just let me in. A life lived nocturnally, eternally. Just let me in.”
This brings us to the best track on the album. “Act 1: Elysium 77” opens with ambient sounds before exploding into bellowing screams “We disappear.” The song features Telle Smith of The Word Alive, and it’s his clean vocals that pushes this into a great song. Despite the jarring ambient sounds that occur throughout the entire album, the effects work well with the song. The chorus flows to and from the verses naturally and it’s catchy with emotion in the words.
Another single, “THORNS” hits after the stellar track and the album takes an off-putting turn. The Marilyn Manson-esque vocals come in full flavor mixed with low, distorted growls. “Act II: Sonar” is an impressive upturn with tempo changes and verses that build up into memorable chorus. The clean vocals take over much of the song. It accomplishes a dark feel without going overboard.
At this point, we should mention production and musicianship. The production on Vicious World is top notch and polished without sounding plastic or thin. Each song sounds massive like a headlining band at a giant festival. However, one drawback is with the musicianship. Matthew Hasting and guitarist Rob Flores show off the best of what they have to offer; but it’s the studio drummer they used that offers nothing. Inherently, there is nothing wrong with the drums on the album. They’re just so simple. Nearly each song seems to be the bare minimum. The fills are almost always a drum roll, or a quick fill down the toms. MCMB has always offered crazy drums in the past with insanely fast double bass, and making it sound easy in the process.
“The Fountain” comes halfway through the album with the entire track being the ambient sounds we’ve heard all album long so far. Clocking in at just over four minutes long, it seems like a useless track because it doesn’t even fade into or build up to the next song. It just fades out and comes across as an unnecessary track. The following song even has a buildup of its own in the beginning, which confuses me even further. However, it’s this next track that shines in the latter half of the album. Unlike the other tracks, the drums stand out with some complex work. “CICVDVS” rises the album from sinking depths here.
“KevlAr” just flat-out destroys any momentum the album had, which isn’t much. Think, metalcore dubstep infused with once again, Marilyn Manson style vocals. You read that right. The final two songs are more of the same that the album has already showed us.
Mychildren MyBride is back. That’s the good news. They are a fantastic band with a catalogue of quality metal. Unfortunately this album is simply put, a big disappointment. If you are a newcomer to the band, I recommend giving this album a chance, and if you don’t care for it, check out their previous works. The gothic feel of Vicious World misses the mark.