My Enemies & I
The Beast Inside
(Fearless Records)

My Enemies & I’s new full length, The Beast Inside, is a combination of gripping, dark – and catchy – songwriting with driving, special effects heavy modern metalcore. The vocals are not all screams, but they all sound artfully strained, and the band’s vocalist, Jeff Hill, shifts effortlessly from cleans to his harsh but very listenable screams.

There’s an interesting thematic throwback to their earlier work on this release. On the first track, called “Perfect,” Hill sings, “Save your goodbyes, I’m not worth it!.. I’m worthless! Burn me alive!” The idea here is similar to the first track on their Sick World EP, on which Hill sings “I am the worthless! I am the hated!”

Another thematic point drawing everything together comes on the song called “Save Your Breath,” when Hill strings together yet another series of similar metaphors, beginning with “I’m the paper cut you acquired as you’re turning the page of your Bible!”

The Beast Inside conveys anger but not of the blind fury type. Rather, the band’s anger is horror-tinged; it’s the kind of “anger” that could perhaps be said to have underlined the fictional Dr. Hannibal Lecter’s decision to carry on as a serial killer. The anger on The Beast Inside is the type that looks at you out of steely, cold eyes.

It could, in theory, turn some people off because of being too “edgy,” but for no doubt plenty of others, The Beast Inside will “hit the spot.” Fans of Sworn In might like this, although the two bands don’t construct their music in the same way. It has a similar vibe- say, if Sworn In added a dose of anger to their internal anguish, then perhaps you’d be left with something like My Enemies & I’s new record.

Even at that, The Beast Inside isn’t all brooding anger. On “The Game,” Hill sings, “I’m human! I’m broken!… we are dirt with free will!” The anger is sobering.

The lyrics are simple, but they are memorable and convey strained emotion well. There is an element of social consciousness in the lyrics, such as when Hill sings on “Lobotomy,” “Like a child watching puppets at a matinee, they don’t see the hand controlling every move they make… you’ve got freedom, you’ve got rights but.. you’re still a slave.” “Lobotomy” is definitely a stand-out song.

The final track, “Yes-Man,” brings the album to a crashing end, and The Beast Inside is, quite simply, one of those albums that you’re going to find yourself coming back to if you’re a fan of “grimy” metalcore.

Purchase the album here: iTunesPhysical

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