Like Moths To Flames
The Dying Things We Live For
(Rise Records)

Like Moths To Flames’ latest record, The Dying Things We Live For, is just another sonic equivalent of a Jackson Pollock painting. I’m sure there are some people who will be pleased by the utter chaos and sporadic nature of the sound splattered throughout this album, but I am not one of them. In fact, The Dying Things We Live For may be the perfect title for this record as a large part of the vocals do tend to sound like a small mammal dying a slow and agonizing death.

Maybe I am being too hard on Like Moths To Flames, but this Risecore band has been around for a while and I hold them to rather high standards because of that. Tragically, this record did not pick up where songs like the always impressive “I Solemnly Swear” left off. Instead, LMTF opted to go in several different directions as if experimenting with what new sound they could possibly be. “Thrown To The Wind” feels very punk influenced whereas “No King” is just raw and heavy. And then there are tracks like “The Give and Take” that just scream “Look at us! We are METALCORE! (Except we forgot to add an isolated breakdown.)”

I think what makes this record so difficult to digest is simply the lack of tangibility. There’s nothing here to hold onto once the record is finished. “The Art Of Losing” is characterized by quasi-clean vocals that feel strained and a solid end riff, but everything in between sounds muddied and overworked. There’s a redundancy in sound that makes many of the songs sound like carbon copies of one another. “Never Repent,” “Wasted Days” and “History Repeats” all feel like they could be laid on top of one another and not differentiate at all.

That being said, there are two impressive songs to dig up from this album. “Fighting Fire With Fire” has a great intro riff and some solid drum fills, along with the clever line “We’re all so guilty of wanting what we’ll never have.” It’s easily the album’s stand out track and only has one close rival, “The Give and Take.” Though pushed towards the latter half of the record, “The Give and Take” holds the catchiest chorus and displays very skilled technical instrumentals, giving me hope for anything LMTF may put out in the future.

While the vocals remain muddied, yet the guitar work and drums sound crystal clear, vocalist Chris Roetter does unleash some nasty lyrics that give the record a little more merit while undoing many lyrical clichés. “I will bear a new cross” (“Never Repent”), “There’s no escaping from the skeletons you keep in your grave,” (“Destined For Dirt”), and even “You’re no fucking king” (“No King”) all ring out in their respective tracks as highlight moments and gain more meaning simply by the anger-driven tone rooted in Roetter’s vocals. They are great moments for the record and show that while the overall song structures maybe off this time around, Roetter’s lyrical content is not. Hopefully Like Moths To Flames can channel more moments like these for their upcoming releases and stray further away from the overdone and over-thought vices put into The Dying Things We Live For. (Natasha Van Duser)

Purchase The Dying Things We Live For on iTunes.

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