Arizona’s metal quintet The Word Alive has released their second full length record ‘Life Cycles’ through Fearless Records this week. With début album ‘Deceiver’ making its way into the US Billboard Top 100, the band has had a lot of weight on their shoulders to return with a record that will hopefully do the same.
Their melodic twist on the metal genre gives the band a differential advantage over most metal bands, with vocalist Tyler Smith’s dark roars complimented by complex and melodic guitar lines in sections of the record. ‘Bar Fight’ takes on the heavier side of ‘Life Cycles’ with more predominant chugging riffs and harsh screams but doesn’t shy away from the melodic style, also noted in similar tracks ‘Evolution’ and ‘Live A Lie’.
Smith’s screams do not take up the whole of the vocals with both guitarists Tony Pizzuti and Zach Hansen contributing with their raw yet powerful voices throughout the record. This combination works great for a band who focus on both melodic and metal sounds, with the heavier sections welcoming Smith’s screams and softer sections, in particular choruses sung by Pizutti and Hansen.
The title track is introduced with the spoken “I’d rather die for what I believe, than live a life without meaning.” With such a powerful opening this track is a personal favourite: exerting the sheer passion of the personal development themes behind the record by the repeated build up of this line, escalating into a shout then scream.
‘Astral Plane’ brings the record to a fantastic ending, initially slowing down the pace in comparison to the previous twelve tracks but not losing the melodic metal tendencies that have made ‘Life Cycles’ what it is.
The Word Alive has released a very strong second full-length and for a band that already has global recognition the quintet will be storming the music scene with this record. ‘Life Cycles’ is worthy of a thumbs up for its passionate contribution to metal, with each track as contagious as the next, even after numerous listens.
‘Life Cycles’ by The Word Alive is available now on Fearless Records.
Words by Hannah Gillicker