Review of The Depths by Of Mice And Men
With their name taken from the classic novel by John Steinbeck, Of Mice And Men have been threatening to produce quality metalcore since 2009. Having survived numerous line up changes over the years that would cause most bands to split up, Of Mice And Men have battled on through illness, depression and drink to produce a monster of an album in ‘The Flood’ and from it we have the debut single ‘The Depths’.
This track doesn’t mess about and straight off we’re lead into a world of chunky riffage, tense lead guitars and an ominous cymbal chiming ready to introduce the onslaught of noise, it’s a similar method used by Slipknot to give the song a threatening build up and what ensues does not disappoint. Slamming straight into a hardcore beatdown riff that will destroy many a pit, singer Austin Carlile implores the crowd to ‘Get up!’ and get up they will! The actual riffage on this song is pretty straightforward and for me this is the beauty of the song, many metalcore bands these days seem intent on going over the top with the technical elements of song writing and forget to actually write a tune you can bounce to.
Of Mice And Men stand out by writing simple yet effective riffs that stick in the mind and melt the face! The chorus also stands out, where the verses are chunky and brutal the chorus is melodic, swirling fiercly around the roar of Austin Carlile providing a haunting backdrop to the evocative personal message Austin demands we hear. ‘The Depths’ is a beautifully raging beast of a track evoking anger, frustration and torment yet provoking a feeling of defiance in the face of adversity. Combining an old-school hardcore style of riffing with thick meaty guitars against a soaring lead guitar it’s a song that really takes you on a rollercoaster ride with the simplicity of the structure giving the song a real purpose without it being all too predictable.
The video itself avoids the stereotypical “band surrounded by moshing fans” angle and goes for a straight forward effect by portraying the lyrics on screen as Austin screams them out word by word, it’s almost as if they’re being daubed on to a prison cell wall, perhaps it’s a symbol for Austin‘s mindset in that these feelings have been locked away dying to be released for so long. For some reason it just works for me and it’s nice to be able to fully understand what’s actually being sung for once too, the video compliments the music perfectly leaving you in no doubt as to what this band is all about!
If this is a taster of what the rest of the album is about then there is a lot to look forward to from this band, Of Mice And Men have stripped everything away to the bare essentials – catchy ballsy riffs combined with a melodic yet raging underbelly to produce a storming introduction to ‘The Flood’.
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Review by Will C