Woe, Is Me – Genesi[s] – Review

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As we close the book on another productive metalcore year, we take in a late entry from the Atlanta, GA six-piece metalcore band Woe, Is Me. After the bands successful fan base growth, due to an extensive array of touring and the release of their debut album “Number[s]” in 2010, the band fell upon some rocky times with the exodus and replacing of several key members (ie. clean singer: Tyler Carter -> Hance Alligood, and unclean vocals: Michael Bohn -> Doriano Magliano) as well as most of their guitarists. The difference then for their 2012 full-length, aptly titled “Genesi[s],” would be immediately noticeable and come as a sweeping change in sound since only their drummer Austin Thornton and rhythm guitarist Kevin Hanson remained from the founding group.

Fans of the band will quickly notice the absence of the talented melodic guitars from Tim Sherrill and the sonic addition on keys from Ben Ferris (both of which are now ex-), as well as picking up how much this roster shake-up and subsequently different musical direction has separated Woe, Is Me‘s first record, and their new album, “Genesi[s].” While tracks on “Number[s]” had a techincal metalcore edge that was structured around a melodic grouping of riffs (and not pop punk songs), their new effort screams of a mixture of Rise Record‘s own Attack Attack! (with their overwhelmingly low down-tuned chugs and growly shouts) mixed with early-era Set Your Goals. If this grouping confuses you, you aren’t alone. Tracks like “With Our Friend[s] Behind Us,” “The Walking Dead,” and “Call It Like You See It,” bounce back and forth between deathly growls and alternating chugs to a light and frothy punk assault complete with a volley of sugar sweet clean vocals and back again. Woe, Is Me is reaching for both sides of the isle, without committing to either musical direction, and seeing that all of the previous members left because of “musical differences” you might start to see why this record has a fundamental problem. If you broke apart this record’s DNA and gave both parts to each genre fan base alone, you might have an set of unremarkable, yet positive efforts, but the combined composition just feels like a bi-polar mess.

A positive track or two emerge through the mists, such as the acoustic oddity of the record “Family First,” and the well-balanced and properly executed song “A Story To Tell” (which is completely furnished with industrial machinery sounds and a range of melody). It has become hard for an American metalcore band to become noteworthy these days. Many of them make stabs at deathcore or death metal, but rarely do they jump so readily with cautious abandon into pop punk to offset their already established heavy sound. Woe, Is Me has created a record that appears to be a quality listen at face value, but after a quick investigation into the band’s past music and a look into the genre’s current catalog, you will see that the band has simply reproduced what has been circling the metalcore drain over the last few years, (ie. Attack Attack!, Of Mice & Men, The Word Alive, We Came As Romans, the list could go on and on).

In the end fans may take this record or leave it depending on their fondness of the now absent technical proficiency and hatred of poppy chorus sections, which the band now has in spades. [Staff]

Score: 3 (out of 5)

Release Date: October 12th, 2012
Record Label: Rise Records
Genre: Metalcore
RIYL: Memphis May Fire, Of Mice & Men, Issues

Track Listing:
1. D-Day
2. F.Y.I.
3. A Story to Tell
4. With Our Friend[s] Behind Us
5. Nothing Left to Lose
6. The Walking Dead
7. I Came, I Saw, I Conquered
8. Call It Like You See It
9. I’ve Told You Once
10. Family First
11. Nothing Left to Lose (Acoustic)

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