Every Time I Die
From Parts Unknown
1st July 2014 – Epitaph Records
01. The Great Secret
02. Pelican Of The Desert
03. Decayin’ With The Boys
05. If There Is Room To Move, Things Move
09. Old Light
10. All Structures Are Unstable
11. El Dorado
You might feel like you know every trick in Every Time I Die‘s book by this point. You know you’re going to get great riffs; you know Keith Buckley’s lyrics are going to be both poetic and poignant; and you know it’s probably going to make you want to move your feet at least a little, unless you are either too cool for that, or physically unable to do so – so a title like From Parts Unknown feels like a challenge, doesn’t it? From which far-flung depths are these songs drawn? What more could ETID possibly have in the bag after six albums and sixteen years?
Then again, I think I’ve tried to prove this point about the last two albums as well, and been proven wrong each time. Let’s go round again, shall we?
At this point, Every Time I Die are very much the elder statesmen of metalcore. They’ve been around the block, know what works and what doesn’t, and most importantly have little to prove. This translates to one of the freest records they’ve written. Of course, we can’t see what’s on the cutting room floor, but you get the feeling that they found something that works and then had as much fun with it as they could. Riffs are uncomplicated and the drumming unfussy. “Overstayer” buzzes around like a coked-up hornet with a small man complex; angry and incessant.
The pace here is almost physically blistering. Most Every Time I Die albums stick to a template of approximately thirty minutes long, but none of their records have felt this pacey – certainly not since Hot Damn!, at any rate. Barring “El Dorado“, none of the twelve songs breach three and a half minutes, and most are closer to two and a half. Every member of the band is at full tilt and it makes for a sense of absolute breathlessness, eased only by the sporadic, squealing feedback of the guitars between songs. It is small relief.
“Moor” stands out from this mould indelibly, by virtue of pretty much everything. The singularly-struck piano key and off-kilter vocals throw this rampancy out of the window, and instead takes the tack of being that quiet kid who stands in the corner of the venue who explodes into mosh mode almost violently half-way through the headliner’s set. They’ve been waiting for their turn, and fuck you if you get in the way.
If there’s any criticism to be levelled, there’s not much here we’ve not seen before. There are also fewer immediately memorable riffs as on previous releases – no “We’rewolf“s, “The New Black“s or “Rendez-Voodoo“s here – but it’s not the worst problem to have. Instead, there’s a unity and a classic quality to the twelve songs on display here, which will keep the fires burning throughout this record’s likely extensive touring schedule. And From Parts Unknown‘s lyrics are, as ever with the senior of the Buckley brothers, eminently recallable and one of the band’s most reliable facets.
So From Parts Unknown is not the most revolutionary or adventurous Every Time I Die album, but amongst its peers it is still head and shoulders above. It’s coarse, breathless, and over far too soon. We’ll likely not have this much fun again all year.