Not many labels can say that they’ve unintentionally created their own genre. Whether this is a crutch or benefit is of course a matter of personal opinion, but if you’re a band on the Rise Records label, you write metalcore and like a good ol’ breakdown in most of your songs, you’re falling under the bracket of a ‘Risecore’ band, whether you like it or not. Ohio’s Like Moths To Flames are just one of these bands, and with their third full-length effort ‘The Dying Things We Live For’, they’re still sticking to the same formula.
Now, though this cookie cutter approach does leave you expecting every cliché we’ve come to know within metalcore throughout the years, this doesn’t necessarily mean that what we’ve been offered here isn’t worth your time. When it comes to the ranks of the Risecore lot, LMTF are taken from the cream of that crop as opposed to the bottom of the barrel. The blueprint is being followed almost to the T; the angry lyrics and constant use of “fuck”, the regular chug-a-chug-chug breakdown, the angry screamed verse and clean hook chorus structure, etc. LMTF follow all of this, but admittedly, they’re one of the best who are out there and doing it.
Album opener ‘No King’ may be one of the heaviest tracks put out under the Rise Records umbrella this year, the statements of lament towards the world on ‘Fighting Fire With Fire’ along with the pissed off anthem ‘The Give And The Take’ assure us that frontman Chris Roetter and co. still have plenty more to complain about.
Roetter provides arguably the best vocal performance of his career on this album. His screams and roars are more controlled and have more meat to them, his cleans hold more power and consistency, and the hooks he brings on the choruses throughout the record are some of the most interesting and least predictable that the band have put out thus far. The band leave the best to last with closing track ‘Wither’, which holds all of these aforementioned positives within its almost three and a half minute runtime.
Essentially, Like Moths To Flames aren’t here to bring you music to make you think over how metalcore can be. They’re sticking to what they know and what they’re good at, and ‘The Dying Things We Love For’ definitely lets us see them at their strongest yet. If you’re after a game changer, you’re looking in the wrong place. But, if you’re looking for how today’s metalcore should be done, there are very few bands out there that can do it quite as well as Like Moths To Flames. Whether this is justified or they remain as underrated as they have been to date, only time will tell.
Written by Zach Redrup (@zachredrup)