Miss May I

Shadows Inside

Written by: MAK on 18/07/2017 14:20:35

In 2012, Ohio’s Miss May I seemed to be the ‘next big thing’ in metalcore. This was especially due to having toured with the likes of Parkway Drive and The Ghost Inside, along with their first few full-length releases that helped Miss May I gain a lot of traction in the metal and metalcore scenes. 2010’s “Monument” grabbed a lot of attention, but it was 2012’s “At Heart” with the anthem, “Hey Mister” that forced people to really take notice. Since then though, the Ohio lads have kind of just lingered in with the fodder. 2014’s “Rise of the Lion” may have charted higher, but in general, there was less talk about the band amongst metal fans, and even less talk for the following year’s “Deathless”. The buzz just wasn’t there. However, now on a new label, Miss May I is back with a bang on album number six, “Shadows Inside”.

We open with the title track, which doesn’t even tease us, it goes straight for the jugular with shedding lead guitar hooks, and Levi Benton’s throat tearing roars. It’s an impactful start with energetic beats and dominant riffs. A forceful attitude that is balanced out by melodic cleans of bassist Ryan Neff. This is a hungry band with a desire to show they still have that ‘oomph’ factor while still being unapologetically anthemic. On the other end of the spectrum, we have “Never Let Me Stay”, which lacks the intensity of the opener, driving more for an eerier, melodic atmosphere. There is a darker, gothic tone that almost borrows elements from AFI.

“My Destruction” and “Casualties” follow up with a much more ‘metal’ vibe, more than I’ve heard before on a Miss May I release, it’s closer to melodic death metal than metalcore. Both tracks unleash a ferocious attitude in the verses, that is counteracted by captivating poppy choruses. The riffs sound incredibly influenced by Darkest Hour, somewhere between shreds and grooves, while even Levi Burton has that gravel-like emotional shout that sounds like Darkest Hour’s John Henry. The rawness of “Swallow Your Teeth” combined with attention grabbing anthemic value stands out to me. I’ll be amazed if this doesn’t become a swift fan favourite live. It’s perfect for pit action with the sheer brutality in the bridge while the “woah” chants in the chorus just invite you in to sing along.

What I feel is lacking is the extremities of the anthemic or heavier tones. Push for bigger sing-alongs, or punchier riffs, grab my attention more. The album opened with such intensity, a lot of what followed felt lacklustre in comparison, even if they didn’t lack edge as standalone tracks. A couple more songs with the same energy as “Shadows Inside” or the hooking merit of “Swallow Your Teeth”, then this album would make a top 10 contender in my books at the end of the year.

Six albums into a ten-year career, that’s a lot of churned out music and Miss May I don’t seem any bigger than they were five years ago. Though, with this latest release, it’s certainly one to take notice of the Ohio outfit again. Miss May I still has something to offer, and it’s clear that moving towards a straight up metal style is working more in their favour than leaning towards the constantly fluctuating metalcore scene. There are elements of both core and metal, but the shreds and fiddly little hooks are something that even Megadeth would be proud of.

Download: Shadows Inside, Casualties, Swallow Your Teeth
For The Fans Of: Darkest Hour, Bury Tomorrow, Texas In July
Listen: facebook.com

Release date 02.06.2017
Sharptone Records

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