Review by Tammy Lomax for MPM
2021 has drawn quickly to a close and what a year it has been. Many of us have expressed our creativity whilst having to endure the inconsistencies of the lockdowns and rules.
It has proven very difficult for bands to do shows and tours due to everything being drawn to a halt. This has been another year of reflection and it has done some justice for music too, with an array of first class releases this year.
Of Mice And Men’s ‘Echo’ is definitely one of my top 10 for 2021. The American quartet’s sound has altered throughout the years, especially since Aaron Pauley replaced Austin Carlile in 2012, having had a positive, fresh impact.
Their releases this year have assuredly stamped their melodic metalcore sound, this album is a clear example of this and feels like a huge step up compared to their 2019 outing ‘EARTHANDSKY’.
With having signed a deal with SharpTone Records for their E.P releases ‘Timeless’ and ‘Bloom’, off the back of these brilliant E.P’s they have combined it all together, creating this commendable album.
In my previous reviews, I discussed tracks ‘Timeless’, ‘Obsolete’ and ‘Anchor’. I excitedly expressed how good these tracks were, especially with all their elements and layers. Each of these tracks also had essences of similarities between them, as they slowly built each section towards the melodic choruses.
I am going to dive in and discuss some of the new tracks on the album and hands down one of my favourites is ‘Levee’. It is fiercely heavy, and the focus is on the guitars which offer beefy, chunky tones and thrash-like bouncy pace. The melodic portions are only brief which I do like and I love Pauley’s blistering fast vocals.
‘Mosaic’ is also another fabulous addition, an absolute battering of a track, straight in with no messing around. I feel ‘Fighting Gravity’ is the heart chugger on the album, totally getting me by the jugglers. The guitar tones are beautiful and glide through the track, the anthemic chorus is catchy and memorable.
As it develops it takes a tight grip on your emotions, allowing you to suck in the moment. The cleaner vocals come through powerfully, with so much fierceness and edge remaining, leaving no doubt that Pauley is a versatile vocalist.
The simple riff that leads through title track ‘Echo’ is full of capability and maximum delivery. The melodic elements are perfectly structured but full of force and aggression, especially as it closes. The production throughout is sharp and very polished, a pinnacle of professional standard and allows you to absorb all the flavours the instruments have to offer.
Of Mice And Men are advancing and becoming more heavy as they progress their music. They are pushing all the boundaries in every single section with such a vast amount of layering, it works.
The tones of the guitars can be monstrous but also delicate and elegant, everything they have done in this album works. After over a decade of releases they have explored and created their take on metalcore with this release, their tenacity has been a successful mission and I am enthusiastic about their next release.
Echo’ by @Of Mice & Men . New Album ‘Echo’ – Stream – https://shrptn.co/echosingle