The Word Alive have released album number three. Dark Matter is as frontman Telle Smith puts it; “the result of our most in-depth writing and recording session we’ve done, and is something we consider to be our most dynamic and expansive album to date. This record completely defines and expresses who we are, and where we are going, taking the listener to the darkest and most honest places our band has dared to venture.” A lot of hype has surrounded this quintet since their beginnings in 2009, will this album live up to the expectations of the band’s legion of fans?
Opening track Dreamer sets the atmospheric feel of the album with the opening minute having a very high synth feel. The harmonious vocals overlay beautifully. Trapped is one of the catchiest and strongest tracks on the release. The chorus is quite repetitive, however, unlike most bands who’s repetitiveness lyrically gets stagnant after a while, this track is refreshing with the guttural screams of the verses. The repetitiveness of the chorus is very catchy and will have you singing along. Lyrically it’s the first song that starts to open up with the depth of the lyrics. The song will stay trapped in your head (if you pardon the pun). There’s lots of excellent breakdown work in Sellout.
Insane is a personal favourite on the album. It will be one that resonates with a lot of listeners, with a chorus that states “We’re all insane in a beautiful way, we won’t change until the tide comes” this could help listeners with how they see themselves and come to accept things that they may not have liked before. Made This Way is another track that lyrically shows how mistakes make you who you are and has an intricate guitar solo. Piece Of Me’s male/female vocal combination brings a bit of a mix into the track. Title track Dark Matter is a perfect example of the expansiveness of the album, with a combination of beautiful cleans, harsh screams, atmospheric melody, a pounding bass and drum combo. Closing track Oxy opens with some soft, clean vocals and brings back the atmospheric feel.
The overall album is full of monster breakdowns, atmospheric riffs, smooth cleans and guttural growls. As Telle says, it is definitely their most atmospheric and most expansive record. Lyrically this is the most open and dark in the bands’ history. While the quintet already have a large fanbase who should be happy with this release, it will also connect with a multitude of others who may have either not originally been a fan or like myself, were unsure what to think. An incredible release!