Album Review: Miss May I – Deathless

Miss May I - DeathlessMainstays of the metalcore arena, Miss May I are making a defiant step away from the brink.

Just over a year ago, ‘Rise Of The Lion’ trounced expectations of the Ohio quintet, emerging with a pitiful squeak instead of a majestic roar. ‘Deathless’, on the other hand, raises its head above the parapet tentatively, assessing its predecessor’s flaws and reviving their trademark aggression. While it would’ve seemed at the time that ‘Rise Of The Lion’ would be the curtain call for the scene’s consistent frontrunners, the mere existence of this fifth venture defines their determination. While immortality may well be a shot too far, 2014’s mistakes drive 2015’s step in the right direction, albeit not an astounding one.

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A distinct sense of trepidation and foreboding opens ‘I.H.E’, a straightforward denunciation of pretty much everyone, framed by frontman Levi Benton’s signature roar. There’s no surrender in sight for the punishing screams of ‘Trust My Heart (Hope To Die)’, showcasing Levi’s determination and conviction in its raw state.

“You’re deafening my demons,” growls the statement of intent ‘Psychotic Romantic’, relentless from the onset – it’s plain to see they have their past square in the crosshair. Honourable mentions must go to drummer Jerod Boyd, whose phenomenal efforts receive their dues on the title track.

A venomous anthem to ascension, ‘Arise’ depicts a contrasting vocal playoff with Ryan Neff’s cleans and Levi’s rage, adding to the emotional canyon opened up by the echoing ‘Bastards Left Behind’. Ryan appropriately takes centre stage with his melodic pleas throughout ‘Turn Back The Time’, assuming an amicable position at just the right time, refusing to outstay his welcome.

“You always let me down,” calls out the echoing tongue-in-cheek disappointment of ‘Empty Promises’. Melodic licks throughout ‘Born From Nothing’ close the record on a reflective sentiment of discarding their past mistakes. It’s to their credit that they refuse to paper over the cracks and pretend as if last year never happened – addressing their failures gives ‘Deathless’ a far more respectable edge.

Leaving in its wake a taste of bitter resentment, their metalcore ferocity has returned in a fashion. Miss May I may have not died a death last year, but this revival is a small step toward a steady recovery.

3/5

’Deathless’ by Miss May I is out now on Rise Records.

Miss May I links: Website|Facebook|Twitter

Words by Ali Cooper (@AliZombie_)

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