Over the last few years, metalcore has had a huge influx of new exciting bands from America ranging from Of Mice and Men to Memphis May Fire. Beartooth, fronted by Caleb Shomo of Attack Attack! fame, is the latest band to join this scene, however this full-length debut album demonstrates that the band are far from being another generic metalcore band. The album has elements of many different subgenres of the rock world which the band pulls off fantastically well in order to create a unique sound in the vein of Architects, Sleeping With Sirens and Every Time I Die.
Opening the album is ‘The Lines’; a heavy song with brutal screams combined with incredible clean singing – these vocals just highlight the talent that Shomo has as a singer. The lyrics can be deeply personal – and are almost uncomfortable at times – and this means many of the tracks have a raw and sincere emotion about them. The lead single ‘Beaten In Lips’, which talks frankly about domestic abuse, is a real rallying cry for people to keep on living no matter what; for example, “This is for the kids with the beaten in lips, whose parents try to shut them up using their fists, keep living loud and proud, they can never hold you down”. This positive lyrical cliché is recycled by many bands now, and can sometimes come across as insincere or bands just trying to capitalize on what is popular, however the album is very personal with the songs speaking directly to the listener, and this technique does come across fairly well.
With all the tracks on Disgusting lasting under 4 minutes, the fast-paced heaviness of the album is consistently great. There are no ballads and no weaker tracks – every track sounds like it could be a fantastic standalone single. Beartooth have found this incredibly niche sound which is the perfect mixture of metal and hardcore punk, which is only really replicated elsewhere in Every Time I Die. It would be easy for a band that have discovered their unique sound so early to release an album where every track sounds almost identical, however Beartooth have made each track special.
The only re-release on Disgusting from their Sick EP is ‘I Have A Problem’ which was their breakthrough track. While it could be seen as a risky move to re-issue a previously recorded track, on the album the song still sounds incredible and not at all out of place. It is a standout moment on the album, with Shomo’s frequent shout of “I have a problem” being highly reminiscent of the frenetic Jason Butler from letlive. and clearly highlights the key influences of modern hardcore on this band.
While the Sick EP was thoroughly enjoyable, Beartooth have dropped an absolutely fantastic debut album. It is one of the best releases this year; not just in metalcore but also within the whole metal genre. These tracks sound great in headphones however hearing these songs live will no doubt be incredible. If you are fan of exciting metal music, this is an album that you need to check out.
‘Beaten In Lips’ – Beartooth’s catchy lead single from Disgusting