Fresh off their stint on 2014's Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival, Texan deathcore band Upon A Burning Body offer their latest album, 'The World is My Enemy Now'. Before getting into the review, it would be remiss if there wasn't a mention of the idiotic press stunt Danny Leal pulled earlier this year. Trying to drum up press for this album, singer Leal posted a few eerie remarks on FaceBook and Twitter saying that he thought someone was watching his house and that someone was then in his house. Then there was a statement released that said he had been kidnapped. Once it came out that the band had faked this, there was a firestorm surrounding the act from fans and critics alike. I feel that a lot of fans will probably let that factor in to their take on the new record so I will try my best to leave the press stunt feelings out of the review.
That being said, 'The World is My Enemy Now' is not the strongest release by the band. While it has some high points, the majority of the album is quite a letdown. With the departure of lead guitarist CJ Johnson, bassist Ruben Alvarez has taken over guitar duties and former drummer "Lord Cocos" Villareal has been replaced with Tito Felix. The album's opening track, "Red Razor Wrists" is a bit of a dud to start the album, finding the band trying their hand at electronics before turning into a giant grease fire. The first single off the album, "Scars", is not the greatest choice but the clean vocals that make up the chorus bring a little bit of a familiar feel to them. As the album goes on, what becomes apparent is that UABB put more focus into their juvenile press stunt rather than the lyrical and musical content of the album. Lyrics like "Don't bro me, if you don't know me" (from "The New Breed") just don't cut it. Granted, UABB has never been known for their lyrical wit but these lyrics are just childish and pedantic.
Musically, the band suffers from the loss of the two previously mentioned members as there aren't any incredible melodic parts or dynamite riffs that highlighted 2010's 'The World is Ours' and 2012's 'Red.White.Green'. Also, Leal's vocal style is dramatically altered, giving in to more whining, screechy vocals than that thunderous roar that made him so damn intimidating. While these drawbacks are ever present, a bright spot on the album is found in the track "Bring the Rain". From the main riff to the heavy breakdown that begins with Leal yelling "Thunder!", "Bring the Rain" feels like a song that could have easily appeared on either of the band's prior albums. Also a highlight is "Blood, Sweat and Tears" which features Trivium guitarist Matt Heafy on vocals and has a distinct thrash vibe to it, a new dalliance for UABB. While the album isn't going to win any awards or garner much praise, it's still a fun listen and full of adrenaline. This is one of those one and done records, not much replay value here people. At the end of the day, UABB has turned up missing on "The World Is My Enemy Now" and if they are found, maybe someone should contact Sumerian Records.
About this Writer: Greg Watson // Greg Watson has been hooked on the loud and heavy sounds since the summer of 1994 when he first heard the opening notes of "Operation: Mindcrime" by Queensryche. Since then his tastes have expanded and grown like the ever evolving heavy metal tree of genres. He has been an active member of Maximum Metal off and on for 10 years. In his spare time, Greg enjoys deciding the fate of his loyal subjects in the realm of Skyrim and secretly playing air keyboard to "Separate Ways" by Journey when no one is watching. He currently resides in Roanoke, VA with his wife and his metal wannabe beagle.
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