Album Review: MOTIONLESS IN WHITE Graveyard Shift
Ah, Motionless In White. You might be asking yourself why this review is even on this website where generally these articles end up being troll bait in the comment sections. Truth be told, I never like to dismiss a band because of preexisting conditions. Motionless In White is pretty popular for a reason, and if it’s a good reason, I’d like to know it as well. I reviewed their previous album Reincarnate concluding with a rather tepid response, but I genuinely wanted to hear if Graveyard Shift might fare somewhat better than previous attempts.
There’s a good chance that anyone reading this review is probably familiar with MIW and what the band is really all about. And if you’re not, you may at least be familiar with the face of the band, Chris Cerulli. Musically speaking, they’re pretty run-of-the-mill metalcore with the techno/industrial edge that’s been pretty popular. But MIW is definitely a band of aesthetics and nuances, for better or for worse. Cerulli’s sense of style, writing and singing have often been compared to Marilyn Manson, again for better or for worse. Their music has been criticized for verging on the “edge-lord teenager” spectrum, which can spoil the enjoyment of the entire experience for some. My previous review of Reincarnate stated about as much, but I wanted to give MIW another chance and see what has or hasn’t progressed.
"Queen For Queen"
Spoiler alert: nothing has changed. This is very much still MIW being MIW. Firstly, the metalcore aspect of the band is pretty good, if not a little typical from a metalcore band in this day and age. Guitars are pretty heavy and downtuned and at times can really induce a good amount of headbanging, especially during the breakdowns. “The Ladder” is probably the heaviest, and quickest song on Graveyard Shift and really showcases how important and crucial the guitars are to the overall feel of MIW. The guitars in “Necessary Evil” sounds somewhat like a tribute to Korn in the best possible way, especially given that Jonathan Davis guest stars on the track as well.
Keyboards and the industrial flavors of MIW are still a-plenty on Graveyard Shift as well. Most of the time it’s fairly harmless, but can also be a little intrusive at times. I’m not entirely certain just how necessary a lot of these keyboard additions really are, but it’s also very much expected from the band.
Rest assured, Cerulli is still in full form when it comes to his lyrics and his singing style. The thing is, I really enjoy his screaming; I think it fits super well with the guitars and makes for a really awesome and heavy picture. And his clean vocals are fine as well, but then comes his slithering Manson-esque voice that pops in every once in a while. Honestly, I don’t really give this any cares, but people do like to criticize MIW on it, so it’s worth mentioning that it definitely appears on Graveyard Shift in bulk.
The lyrics are probably the biggest thing to criticize on the album. If you’ll turn your attention to the second verse of the opening track, “Rats"…
Oh Mrs. Pharmacist
If I resist, lock me up and bind my wrist
You've been a bad little girl, little girl
Close your eyes and listen close
I know just how much you love it
If you speak, you'll lose your tongue
So shut your mouth before I f**k it
This is just one example, but the album is littered with it. And although I stated before I had no issue with the Manson-style vocals, hearing these lyrics attached to it make it a little more difficult to enjoy. Perhaps I’m taking it a little too far, but there were several times while listening to the album where I almost had to laugh at many of these lyrics. So, if you are able to separate yourself from the words and just get to the music, you might really enjoy Graveyard Shift. Given that this is Motionless In White to a T, if you are already a fan, then you’ll enjoy this very much. But if you’re pretty familiar with the band and aren’t feeling it, then it's best to just keep walking.
"570" Official Video