The Word Alive is no stranger to a changing lineup. In 2016, drummer Luke Holland left the band to pursue other creative projects and last August veteran, Daniel Shapiro left for the same reason. But that didn’t stop the Arizona natives from carrying on. The now threesome has created Violent Noise (Fearless): a 12-track album that proves they are not close to calling it quits.
The drama that surrounded the group from initiation is transcended as the album kicks off with ‘Red Clouds’— with somber keys in the first few notes, the rest of the song is embodied with heavy electro bass lines. That tone paves the way to lead single ‘Why am I Like This?’ This track showcases lead vocalist, Telle Smith’s melodic tenor—creating a smooth well-put together track.
From First to Last’s Matt Good produced the album. Good, who has worked with Asking Alexandria on their latest release brought in Danny Worsnop for ‘Stare at the Sun’, and Worsnop’s vocals here add magic to the song, but it’s the guitar work that really pulls the track together; chords meander through, painting an electrifying background.
There’s an undeniable beauty to the way the trio created a song that can help people cope with their demons. ‘War Evermore’ sympathizes with depression and suicide but there’s something about the drum line in this song that makes it really easy to sink into it. ‘I Fucked Up; is a confession by Smith that admits his faults but thematically he wants you to know that he’s persevered with every challenge. It’s punchy percussion and bass lines thrive here—adding color to the album.
Going back to Smith’s personal struggles, ‘Human’ takes surprise trip into the hip-hop territory with rapper, Sincerely Collins, a completely different approach to what we’re used to hearing from The Word Alive but a definite catchy tune. The track resembles something out of Linkin Park’s One More Light (Warners) but fits perfectly on the album so kudos to them for trying something new that actually worked.
Fans who love the band for their gritty guitars and fun alternative vibes will appreciate ‘I Don’t Mind’. A synthesized groove travels through ‘Real Life’ and the unforgettable ‘Lost In The Dark’ comes in softer but iconic, especially in the melodic breakdown.
‘My Enemy’ has the savage vocals and boldly sets you up for ‘Run Away’. The track carries the same formula that is found throughout the album but is one of the softer, mellow tunes before we close with ‘Lonely’, which unfortunately sounds like it’s unnecessarily there.
Violent Noises is an easy listen. The Word Alive played it safe with this one but it captures the spirit of where the band currently is. Much of the album takes lead from their previous effort, Dark Matter (Fearless)but still includes many heavy hitters that old fans will enjoy. It absorbs you in from beginning to end, appreciating every lyric and every musical detail.