Stoner-infused metalcore? Sure. Does it work? Well… sometimes. In a market as oversaturated as, sadly, metalcore these days, Left Behind sure as hell bring a bit of fresh air into the whole thing with their take on it.
Mixing doomier riffs and general stoner elements with the existing musical recipe is a bold move in a way, and every now and then they manager to master it on their latest full-length, ‘No One Goes To Heaven’.
The record starts strong with ‘Hell Rains From Above’, giving quite a good taste of what’s yet to come. A bit too good of a taste, to be fair. While it excites with screeching guitars, especially during breakdowns, and some formidable vocals from Zach Hatfield, it loses a lot of that very power in the following few songs.
For the most part of the first half of the record, there’s always something new to discover, and something lingering that’ll get you to the end of the track. Sadly, repetitive patterns of these nuances and the extreme slowing down of the pace of the record hurt its flow, and it hurts it a lot. The album’s peak is absolutely in the beginning, arguably during ‘Throwing Stones’ and ‘Peeling Wax’, and if you don’t mind more dragging rhythms, then the rest of it will be just as great of a head bang fest for you.
Mind you, the gutting lyrical content, rhythmic arrangement, and overall musical talent are very much present for Left Behind, but they certainly need some rehashing in some places. Even as much as a meddle with the track listing could’ve done ‘No One Goes To Heaven’ a big favour; cramming all of the slow songs towards the end does make for a struggle of a listen
Need a bit more liveliness in your music? Maybe just pop on the singles. Don’t mind whipping your head back and forth in a slower, but no less intense, manner? Spin the hell out of ‘No One Goes To Heaven’.