I haven't written a music review in a while and I find they're one of the hardest reviews to get right, but I'll do my best!
This is a review for the album 'The Flood' by Of Mice & Men. I will be reviewing the deluxe edition which came out in 2012 after the original in 2011.
Of Mice & Men is an American rock band from Costa Mesa, California. Their genre is Metalcore - combining heavy break downs and screamed vocals with lighter, more melodic sections with clean vocals. The genre has exploded in the last couple of years and bands like OM&M are at the forefront of the scene. They are immensely popular with their last UK tour selling out in every city - I was lucky enough to get a ticket and it was absolutely incredible!
The original album was released on June 14th 2011 under Rise Records. It was recorded at The Foundation Recording Studios in Indiana by Producer Joey Sturgis with the deluxe reissue being released on July 24th 2012.
The track listing (first 4 tracks are deluxe reissue only):
1. "The Calm" (Instrumental) 1:50
2. "The Storm" 4:05
3. "The Flood" 3:10
4. "The Depths" 3:46
5. "O.G. Loko" 3:18
6. "Ben Threw" 3:11
7. "Let Live" 4:16
8. "Still YDG'n" 3:11
9. "My Understandings" 2:33
10. "Ohioisonfire" 3:07
11. "Purified" 3:35
12. "Product of a Murderer" 3:52
13. "Repeating Apologies" 3:43
14. "The Great Hendowski" 3:05
15. "I'm a Monster" 1:59
16. "When You Can't Sleep at Night" 3:32
Total run time is just over 52 minutes and every single minute is on point - it goes through a journey of highs and lows which keeps you interested. One of the best things about this album is that it jumps from adrenaline-fuelled angst and punishing breakdowns, to tranquil and serene bridges that really calm you - and best of all it does it all seamlessly - it doesn't seem disjointed at all.
The first 4 songs are all added to the deluxe album and do not feature on the original version. These songs do not feature Shayley Bourget - the band's ex-bassist responsible for the clean vocals (who departed in February 2012), therefore all vocals come from screamer Austin Carlisle. It makes these new songs less appealing to fans of the 'softer' side of the music as they're not as catchy with nice, almost pop-choruses. These almost seem like a different genre, but I don't find them lacking - they're just a bit different to the rest of the album.
My favourite song is 'Let Live' - it's got a really catchy chorus and the drum beat gets me really pumped up - it's a great gym song! I also love 'O.G. Loko' once again because of the winning chorus. The Depths is my favourite of the added songs - it doesn't have a clean vocal chorus, but the whole song is just aggressive and really emotive.
=For Fans Of=
Killswitch Engage, Bullet For My Valentine, Bring Me The Horizon, Memphis May Fire
Their next album is due for release in 2013 and I really can't wait to see what they do without Shayley - it has been confirmed that they will not be hiring a new clean vocalist, but I hope they still keep some of the musical serenity from this album, even if there isn't calm vocals.
Overall I give it 5/5 - absolutely love this album and would recommend it to anybody interested in the metalcore genre.