Mad Season - Obey The Brave
Artist: Obey The Brave Album: Mad Season Genre: Metalcore
Review by Steve Jenkins
Mad Season sees Montreal metalcore titans Obey The Brave demonstrate a true artistic evolution and growth compared to their previous albums. They still maintain a sound that is familiar and true to who they are, but there's definitely something different about this release if you've followed Alex Erian and his band since their inception in 2011.
Now, with their third album, Obey The Brave have added not just some experimentation to their approach, but quite a lot actually. Don't worry, it's still edgy, heavy, in your face and not without those energetic and ferocious breakdowns that we love to hear. On Mad Season, you'll hear things like more clean vocals and even some hip-hop which was a surprise. When the track 'RIP' began near the end of the album, I had to check that I was still listening to Obey The Brave and not something entirely different. But strangely, it works kind of well with both elements of music mixed together. With frontman Alex Erian being a fan a fan of death metal, hardcore, and hip-hop, it isn't really a shock to see him add his favourite types of music into his own band.
The vocal delivery and lyrical content touches on the standard metalcore approach with some gang chanting which is to be expected, as well as those uplifting and almost motivational moments that comes across as strong and powerful. Obey The Brave are no strangers to creating hard-hitting and straight up tough sounding hardcore riffs that sound metallic and vibrant, with a nice groove between the hardcore and metalcore characteristics. Despite the electronic and hip-hop experimentation I still find the heavier moments to be the standouts on this album. Tracks like 'Low Key', 'On Our Own' and 'On Thin Ice' are packed with headbanging moments and that catchy sound that embodies the metalcore sound. A few of the tracks come across as filler without much killer, not for a lack of trying but mostly because there seems to be a lack of fire and energy coming through.
Despite the negatives, Mad Season succeeds in escaping the realm of being a total letdown with flashes of energy and an attempt to experiment outside their realm. I feel as though with this album, they were trying to do something different to give the people that were wanting more than just 30 minutes of breakdowns and heavy music. But part of me sort of wishes they stuck to that formula because they're so damn good at it. This won't be for everyone, but you may be able to find something here that will be a pleasant surprise.
5 out of 10 stars.
Mad Season is out June 2nd via Epitaph Records. Get your copy here or on iTunes.
Watch the official video for the track 'Drama' below: