November 18, 2012

Filthy Music Review - 'Motionless in White: Infamous'

Motionless in White: Infamous (2012)

Review by Jude Felton

The band, Motionless in White, first came to my attention whilst perusing a popular Canadian genre magazine. There was an article about them and at first I just thought they were yet another Goth-looking bunch of wannabe vampires. However, after reading the article and discovering that they are from the very same town in which I reside, I thought I would give them a blast. My first exposure to their music was the 2010 album, Creatures, which quite honestly blew me away; its horror inspired lyrics, film sound bites and mixing the metal core sound with something a little more interesting hit all the right notes with me.

I also went back and checked out their previous release, the EP When Love Met Destruction, and even back then they had a very defined sound and I could tell that they had the makings of a very good band. Now the Scranton band are back with their second full-length album, Infamous, and straight off the bat I can tell you that it will alienate some, whilst it will also bring in plenty of new fans.

The album itself is far more varied than Creatures; it also allows the band’s influence to shine through, and not subtly either. Infamous opens with Black Damask (The Fog), which has a Danny Elfman inspired opening, before belting into some full-on thrash style metal. The brutality continues into track 2, and first single, Devil’s Night. This song has a definite Slipknot-like sound to it, which doesn’t surprise me, especially since the band dressed as the Iowan Octet for the Halloween show I attended. It’s a catchy hate-filled number, with Chris spewing venomous attacks on the band’s detractors.

With the third track, America, Infamous takes its first steps in Marilyn Manson-style territory, with Chris’s vocal echoing Mr. Warner’s style, whilst also belting out his own unique vocal style. An almost hypnotic melody accompanies this tune, complete with it supremely catchy chorus. It is then into Burned at Both Ends, which is quite possibly Motionless’s heaviest tune; it thunders straight out of the gates, takes a couple of deep breathes, and then assaults us again.

More Manson-esque vocal stylings follow with The Divine Infection, the chorus of which would not be out of place on The Lost Boys Soundtrack, before Bjorn Speed Strid (Soilwork) joins in the fun for the spite that is Puppets 2 (The Rain). After these two numbers we are treated to what I personally think is Motionless in White’s best song to date; Sinematic. To call Sinematic a ballad would imply some horrible thorny rose type tune. Instead this starts gently enough with the creeping vocals gently sweeping us along towards to bridge, until it explodes at just after the two minute mark with the emotionally charged vocals sending shivers down my spine. It is quite a wonderful tune.

After the majesty that is Sinematic, Bleeding Through’s Brandan Schiapetti steps up to join the band for If It’s Dead, We’ll Kill It, with its mixture of catchy chorus and sonic explosions during the verses. Synthetic Love follows with Underdog coming in at track 11. The title track, Infamous, is the album’s penultimate track, and it wastes no time in throwing down some meaty guitar work, mixed in with some effective electronic work.

The album closes with the beautifully named Hatefuck, which is just as spite-filled as it sounds. As I mentioned, Infamous could well alienate some fans as there is a lot going on with this album. Obvious influences aside, which shouldn’t surprise anyone who has listened to Creatures (which also had its Manson-esque moments). This is the sound of a band that is growing and trying out new sounds and styles. Infamous is not straightforward metal core, which truthfully can get a little monotonous, instead it pushes the boundaries of their music in several directions, and to these ears it works very well.

The horror influences aren’t quite as apparent as before, but this is still a dark and brutal album both musically and lyrically, and it is the sound of a band that is confident in their material and has no fear in trying out something new. Motionless in White know they can’t please all of the people all of the time, and Infamous just goes to show that they just don’t care, and will continue to do things their way.

This is a quite wonderful album in which I have been discovering new things each time I listen to it, with its many layers and sounds. For best results play loud, very loud indeed!

Infamous is available now on CD, legal Download and Limited Edition Vinyl from Fearless Records.

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