[ALBUM REVIEW] Every Time I Die: Low Teens

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Apparently, the title of this Buffalo metalcore quintet’s eighth album refers to the bitter cold in which the record was crafted. Unsurprisingly, the title reflects the thirteen tracks which shape this LP and after nearly two decades of surviving trials which would defeat most bands, Every Time I Die execute their trademark sound above expectations.

Opener Fear And Trembling is the evilest the band has sounded, with deranged riffing by guitarists Jordan Buckley and Andy Williams. Deadguy’s Tim Singer further ups the aggression with vocal appearance that combines with Keith Buckley to terrifying effect.
Low Teens follows an unorthodox pathway through different styles but despite its variety, it is very much an Every Time I Die album. They push melodic punk boundaries on Two Summers, record their longest track on Religion Of Speed and showcase the southern metalcore riffs they do best on The Coin Has A Say and Just As Real But Not As Brightly Lit. Most significantly, It Remembers feels as if North Carolina’s Weedeater were directing the band while Keith borrows from PJ Harvey‘s in vocal delivery. A guest appearance by Panic! At The Disco’s Brendon Urie grants the poppy number some added flair.
C++ (Love Will Get You Killed) balances desperate screams with melody, documenting the premature delivery of vocalist Keith’s daughter on lyrics such as “tried to plead with machines”. Fortunately, there’s a happy ending but Petal is no less intense;“untimely ripped into this world, I was born again as a girl”. The band return to what they do best with the warlike Awful Lot, which expands with a middle-finger to religion in I Didn’t Want To Join Your Stupid Cult Anyways. If the circle-pit needs a soundtrack,  1977 would be a powerful choice. Closing with Map Change, the song is a revelation of Keith’s despair and is remarkably stirring.

In summary, Every Time I Die is as adventurous as they have ever been with Low Teens. It may divide longtime fans, but it may conversely extend their fanbase. While it’s not their ‘pièce de résistance’, it’s definitely a solid effort.

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