Of Mice And Men release their eighth album “Tether” on the 6th of October and much like a fine wine these guys get better with age.
Having always managed to have a great mix between the brutal and melodic side of the genre, not much has changed here although the melodic side seems to shine through more on this one than previous releases. It starts with “Integration” which sounds like it’s going to be the usual metalcore fare before it drops and focuses on the more melodic side but with a heavy twist, the bass and drums create a kicking rhythm while Pauley’s clean melodic vocals really stand out amidst a backdrop of chaos.
“Warpaint” really brings the brutal and all that is good about metalcore; screaming vocals, blistering beat and a round feeling of angst that is expertly tempered at the chorus’ with clean vocals and a less frantic pace, a killer track. “Shiver” reins it back in with a calmer track that has Pauley really laying it on with some seriously cool clean vocals that are in perfect harmony with the synth/electro feel and strong electric vibe from the guitars and bass, it feels odd but works brilliantly. The synth opening on “Eternal Pessimist” belies what is to come as the intensity is ratcheted up big time; Pauley screams and roars his way through the track to a backdrop of pounding drums and a rumbling bass line that when added to the guitars, which are pretty sick with some killer riffs, gives you a heavy hitting track. “Into The Sun” is one of the best songs on the album; a synth intro leads into a kicking drum beat that lays the foundations for the track, it’s really melodic vocally but the heaviness still bleeds through and when the brutal side hits it does so like a hammer to the head, an amazing track. “Enraptured” is your typical metalcore track, bass heavy with a thumping drum beat and grinding riffs mixed in with screamed and clean vocals, this is one for the purists. “Castaway” is a faster more mainstream metal song; a crushing drum beat and killer guitars lead this one, Pauley seems to have embraced the cleaner more melodic vocals wholeheartedly and it comes through on this track in a big way, this will be a massive hit. Title track “Tether” is outstanding, stripped back to give you the full sonic experience of Pauley’s vocals, he builds it slowly to a crescendo and when the rest of the band do come in it is in a refrained manner that meshes nicely with the rest of the song.
“Indigo” is full of ethereal melodies that will seep into your brain and take up residency there, even with the heavy drums and riffs that are interspersed throughout the track there is an atmospheric feeling to it that Pauley’s hypnotic vocals add to the vibe. The album closes with “Zephyros”, a bass-driven atmospheric gem that grows on you with each listen, there is a great blend of synth and metal with a jazzy twist, very different to their usual sound but brilliant nonetheless.