More Than Life

What's Left Of Me

Written by: PP on 21/06/2014 14:06:33

If there's one melodic hardcore band from Britain that has risen above the rest of the pack, it is More Than Life. Drawing their inspiration from Verse's passionate, but intellectual brand of rhythmically paced melodic hardcore, they've been perpetrating mainland Europe lately with highly energetic live shows that have captured their audience through a vivid displays of pure passion. Because that's what this band is all about: unadulterated, uncompromising passion, delivered over a platform of hardcore that's far more melodic than many of their compatriots.

"What's Left Of Me" is their third album, and the hype surrounding the release in the UK has been nothing short of massive. It's for a reason. The tormented vocals of James Matthews are exceptional; because even though they are aggressive and throaty, they are simultaneously decipherable and carry the lyricism of a man with a purpose. Parallels to Verse are drawn here as well, although More Than Life are perhaps a little more to the point than those guys. Still, the lead guitars are packed with melody, and useless breakdowns are consistently avoided in favour of a more dynamic, well-flowing sound. There are tempo changes, sure, but these are just melodic bridges leading into more hardcore/punk oriented sections, such as those on title track "What's Left Of Me". They are good, but where the album truly excels is during the echoing, faded-back screams of songs like "Do You Remember", or during the uplifting melodic riffs of "Seasons Change". These showcase not a generic melodic hardcore band but one that's capable and willing to rise above what is considered the standard in the genre. They are catchy, jam-packed with passion and cleverly written to contain multiple points of explosion in terms of the vocals. The guitars are almost soothing here to allow Williams to spit and shout his throaty style at us with plenty of room, and when they fill up the soundscape again, the melody is full of warmth. It features a sense of positive energy as opposed to the usual negative forces that dominate the hardcore scene.

"What's Left Of Me" could've been a genre-defining album had it been released six years ago, when the melodic hardcore genre really started taking off. Today, there are a lot of bands playing a very similar style (though the American versions like Counterparts, Hundredth etc are more metalcore oriented), so they risk drowning out in the noise. But the quality of songwriting on "What's Left Of Me" is good enough to convince me they are better than so many others in the genre. Aggression, passion, and melody walk hand-in-hand in near-perfection on this album.

8

Download: Seasons Change, You're Not Alone, Do You Remember
For the fans of: Verse, Departures, Ruiner, Defeater
Listen: Facebook

Release date 14.04.2014
Holy Roar Records

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