Grayslake metalcore five-piece Sworn In miss the mark with uninspiring second album, ‘The Lovers / The Devil’. The follow-up to the band’s popular 2013 debut ‘Death Card’, ‘The Lovers / The Devil’ seems somewhat subdued. It’s still a heavy record, hurling its weight around with pummelling drums and juddering riffs, but the visceral edge has been dulled slightly.
The vocal experimentation and flurries of nu-metal inspired composition should grab your attention, yet do little more than stifle a yawn. Fleeting instances of melody and clean vocals add a hint of variety to the proceedings, such as the sombre chorus of ‘Scissors’, or the pleading tones of ‘Lay With Me’.
The lyrics are the album’s biggest pitfall, with nigh-incessant rhyming, overuse of repetition and seemingly random expletives. The messages take on a contrived and almost desperate tone, laden with juvenile angst. It’s a struggle to take efforts such as this seriously in a musical genre constantly producing such popular and innovative bands that are considerably more proficient at writing heavy music.
However it’s more than evident that Sworn In have a loyal fan base and, despite the slight banality of the lyrics, vocalist and lyricist Tyler Dennen addresses issues that their listeners can easily relate to, and the band perform their tracks with an admirable gusto.
‘The Lovers/The Devil’ isn’t without its charm, but, that said, they are few and far between. The catchier clean sections and the occasional interesting riff are overshadowed by a sound that fails to stand out in the teeming throng of metalcore upstarts.
Written by Ben Hammond
Founder & Editor for DEAD PRESS! | Atheist and antitheist. | Judge of the quick & the dead since 1989.