The buzz around Motionless In White doesn’t seem to be as big as it once was, but it’s clear that they’ve amassed enough of a following to still be kicking around.
For their fifth album, ‘Disguise’, you pretty much know what to expect at this point, with the album being rife with the band’s signature goth and industrial-tinged metal, with some clear toe-dipping into nu-metal here and there too.
In spite of ‘‘ being one of the better cuts offered here, by the time it rolls around, you feel you’ve heard the album already. Chris Motionless certainly possesses character and can carry a tune, but save for a few tracks, there’s little stand-out moments. Many of the songs follow a similar formula, and on top of that you’ve got clichéd, overdone lyrical narratives.
‘Thoughts & Prayers’ is a heavier song overall, but the chorus yet again sounds just like the others on the album. Many songs feature Chris Motionless moaning before the breakdown hits (‘Headache’ being one of many examples), which feel particularly try-hard. Instead of feeling at one with his oh-so-tortured soul, it has the complete opposite effect.
And when they’re providing a slower take on their sound, they also fall short. ‘Legacy’ and ‘Holding On To Smoke’ leave a notably bad taste in the mouth; the former track being a trite and cringe-worthy attempt at an aspirational anthem musically and lyrically, complete with overproduction and glaringly obvious auto-tune.
‘Undead Ahead 2: The Tale Of The Midnight Ride’ makes more use of soundscapes and a double-time mosh-out section in the verses. However, yet again, it takes a dip, with some of the musical and lyrical ideas reaching self-parody levels. The true nadir of this record is yet to come, though.
Enter ‘Broadcasting From Beyond The Grave: Death Inc.’; a goth-rave, sonic-equivalent-of-Cyberdog monstrosity that reeks of a quirkiness that’s so embarrassingly contrived it’s hard to know whether or not to laugh along, or simply laugh at what sounds like a quickly-shelved Marilyn Manson demo. With such a puerile, silly number like this from a band who’ve been around for some years now, it’s arguable that if Peter Pan had a house band, Motionless In White would be the ideal candidates. Not that goth-metal is inherently childish, not at all, but here there’s simply a complete lack of any subtlety, wit, or charm.
Closer ‘Catharsis’ aims for a slightly more earnest approach, and, while it’s better than what’s come before, we’re talking splitting hairs in terms of distance.
There’s so much thrown at this album, yet there’s so little to grab onto. There’s clearly an audience for this, but ‘Disguise’ is a largely forgettable record that seems very unlikely to win new converts.