Mark Twain, Tennessee Williams and Harper Lee are just some of the thousands of brilliant minds to have been crafted and cultivated in the Deep South of America. Despite being 700 miles north of the Dixie line, five boys from Buffalo, New York took to heart the whisky inspired musings of these fine southern gentlemen, and combined them the fury of hardcore to pain-stakingly create Every Time I Die.
To date, this five-headed beast have seven masterful albums to their name, each one somehow better than the last, with ‘From Parts Unknown’ being no exception to their glorious rule. This time, ETID have opted for an experimental route to explore and conquer, with album opener ‘The Great Secret’ possessing the devastating mathcore ferocity found on every The Dillinger Escape Plan album. From then on, ‘From Parts Unknown’ is peppered with merciless anthems like ‘Thirst’ and ‘All Structures Are Unstable’, all of which have the demolition power of a bulldozer dropped from orbit.
It’s not all making br00tal mosh-inducing hits though. Take, for example, ‘Moor’, a song that starts with a simple piano riff accompanied by Keith Buckley‘s forever improving vocals that builds over the course of a minute, drawing you in and honing your attention, before exploding like an atom bomb full of raging power that will leave you devastated, yet in awe. While on the subject of awesome moments (awesome in a stellar and galactic sense, not in an American hotdog and skateboards sense), take a listen to ‘Idiot’ and behold the phenomenal length and intensity of Buckley‘s screams.
Innovation has always been one of ETID‘s key attributes and each member has truly excelled all expectations with this album. There’s not a track here that will make you hit skip, nor is there one you would omit from a playlist. Even after so many releases, ETID still blow both their fans and critics away with their fresh and bold ideas that all possess their quintessential southern hardcore vibe.
After scrutinising ‘From Parts Unknown’ for flaws or errors, the conclusion is that there are simply none. Perhaps the penultimate track, ‘El Dorado’, is a tad drawn out and repetitive, but considering that the riffs are damn near orgasmic, it can barely be labelled a flaw. In terms of past albums, ‘From Parts Unknown’ has the fury of ‘Hot Damn’ with the artistic temperament of ‘The Big Dirty’ and the flawless execution of ‘Ex Lives’. In review terms, this album ticks all the right boxes, steals the list from you, write dozens more, ticks those too, then sets the list on fire and stabs you in the neck with the pen. ‘From Parts Unknown’ is the essential listen of 2014 and candidate number one for album of the year.
Written by Andy Roberts