I am fairly certain that the evil kid gracing the cover of Miss May I's "At Heart" is the same scary kid from the cover of Aiden's "Knives" (minus a couple of years). Maybe I'm stretching there but they sure seem similar. Nevertheless we have this Ohio band's third album to date with "At Heart", once again released courtesy of Rise Records. The album is produced by the amazing Machine (Suicide Silence, Demon Hunter) and provides another beefy entree of brutal yet melodic metalcore.
Miss May I have completed tours with the likes of Whitechapel, After The Burial and Parkway Drive and bring that same ferocious bite to the table with "At Heart". More times than not the band use the aggressive growling vocals on the verses and even utilize it as the underlying melody through most of the clean chorus parts. That sort of combination works very well on songs like "Hey Mister". The band occasionally incorporates some acoustic strings and keys, most evident on the instrumental title track. The band consistently provides a sort of growling voice and clean singing that is very similar to Soilwork and Mercenary. I think the band does it's best work when they slow down the scale playing and breakdowns and just focus on a slower tempo. Tracks like "Leech" (for fans of The Cure) and "Found Our Way" both show off the band's melodies and use of different vocal keys for timing changes.
"At Heart" really captivates the listener by constantly mixing up the pace. We have extremely faster cuts like "Second To No One" (the "F'n Hostile" of the album) and then a huge injection of gang chant "Heys" on "Day By Day" (like Modern Day Escape) and "Bleeding Out". It is the diverse selection of faster and mid-tempo songs that really make this album a pleasure to hear. This sort of thing is recommended for fans of Demon Hunter, Artas and Modern Day Escape.
About this Writer: Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.
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