Review: The Word Alive's "Dark Matter"

Category:  The Arts
Thursday, March 24th, 2016 at 2:12 PM
Review: The Word Alive's Dark Matter by Kimberly Firestine

Arizona natives The Word Alive released their third full-length album “Dark Matter” March 18 on Fearless Records. The LP is the follow-up to their 2014 release “Real.”

Perhaps what is most surprising about this album is the continuation of change in vocal performance direction that The Word Alive’s vocalist Telle Smith has been heading in. Smith’s vocals on Dark Matter are a healthy mix of screaming and singing, much like the change that fellow hardcore vocalist Oliver Sykes made on Bring Me The Horizon’s latest release. Sometimes when bands change it can bring a slew of “you sold out!!” and “I miss their old music,” but it works well for The Word Alive and their fans should definitely be pleased with what Smith and company have produced.

The heaviest song on the album is between the second track “Trapped”—posted for streaming as the album’s first released track Jan. 8—and the title track “Dark Matter.” Both are stylized to fit fans of their harder music, but “Dark Matter” comes with an intro consisting of motorcycle engine revs that seem pointless but doesn’t deter from the quality of the song.

A nice break in the album comes in the form of the more emotional track “Piece of Me” featuring additional vocals from Alicia Solombrino of Kansas City rock band Beautiful Bodies. “I can’t let you go/How could I stoop so low?” laments Smith.

Other standout songs on include “Insane” and “Made This Way.” The tenth track Grunge is not exactly what the title presumes it to be, but there is a little bit of a 90’s grunge feel. It might be more prominent had Smith not piled on the screaming, but it’s still a decent track.

The Word Alive have just wrapped up their Dark Matter Tour with Fit For A King and Out Came The Wolves and are rumored to be on this summer’s Vans Warped tour. The band consists of Smith (Vocals), Luke Holland (Drum), Zack Hansen (Lead guitar) and Tony Pizzuti (Rhythm guitar).

“Dark Matter” is available on iTunes, Spotify and in stores now.


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