Motionless In White’s debut studio album Creatures completed their meteoric rise to success and enabled them to amass a huge cult fanbase, made up of diehard “Creatures” of their own. After an eternity of touring, including support slots with major bands such as Asking Alexandria and Escape The Fate, as well as a recent run of sold-out UK dates this September, the Scranton metalcore sextet triumphantly return with follow up album Infamous.
Comprising of 12 tracks of pure sonic brutality, the title itself shows just how far this band has come in a mere two years. A glance at the impressive guest appearances on the record also serves to highlight this. Bleeding Through’s Brandan Schieppati provides guest vocals on ‘If It’s Dead We’ll Kill It’; whilst Bjorn Strid, Swedish metaller of Inferior Breed and Soilwork fame, contributes to ‘Puppets 2’, the even heavier twin to first album track ‘Puppets (the First Snow)’.
Whilst certain tracks on Infamous show a clear progression in sound from the band’s debut effort, it is still pleasing to hear some of the classic Motionless sound as heard on Creatures shining through. The only thing I feel is missing from the new collection is the presence of some more smooth, stripped down songs. First album gem ‘City Lights’ provided a unique relief from the fierce heaviness of its brother tracks with its initial delicate, slowly building melody as well as much more soothing, clean vocals. Infamous however lacks this, remaining rhythmically heavy throughout with vocals keeping an abundance of classic Cerulli screaming. This consistency is however not in detriment to the album as a whole.
The key musical factor that sets Infamous apart from Creatures is the amped up usage of heavy industrial synth elements. These ingredients are present in almost every song the album has to offer, whether it be as a mere accompaniment to catastrophic metal breakdowns like in ‘Devil’s Night’ or as the backbone of the entire melody such as is the case in the verses of title track Infamous. The development into this more industrial sound provides the perfect balance of dark lyrics, heaviness and a congruent melody echoing the likes of Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson. Furthermore, Cerulli’s croaky, breathless vocals are highly reminiscent of Marilyn Manson’s on this record, particularly on the tracks ‘Sinematic’ and ‘Infamous’.
Lyrically, much of Infamous is in keeping with the themes of individualism, anger and heartache present on Creatures. Lead single ‘Devil’s Night’ is a searing anthem for the free thinking mission statement of the band. With such idiosyncratic lyrics like “You’d like to think we’ve been defeated but we’re here to stay” and “callousness and loathing are the badges I have earned for my cause”, Cerulli mixes the resounding positive message of being yourself and not giving up with an almighty, vicious delivery.
Songs on the album present the band’s ethos in varying degrees of extremity, for example in anti –religious monster ‘The Divine Infection’, lyrics such as “Blacked-out ghost town, light it up and burn it down” remain subtly metaphorical, intertwining intent in lexical mastery. Other lyrics are much more blunt like with ‘Devil’s Night’s last statement “Maybe you didn’t hear me …I said go f**k yourself”, summing up the bands attitude to narrow mindedness and condescending judgement.
Overall, Infamous has allowed the band to propel themselves into a magnificent new musical direction, whilst still maintaining their ideals lyrically and sonically. As closing track ‘Infamous’, in glorious repetition of Creatures single ‘Immaculate Misconception’ states, “Open your mind before your mouth and get the f**k out of my way” – it seems Motionless In White are definitely here to stay.
…Dan has been listening to Motionless In White – Devil’s Night…