Scoring The End Of The World

rating icon 7 / 10

Track listing:

01. Meltdown
02. Sign Of Life
03. Werewolf
04. Porcelain
05. Slaughterhouse (feat. Bryan Garris)
06. Masterpiece
07. Cause Of Death
08. We Become The Night
09. Burned At Both Ends 2
10. Broadcasting From Beyond The Grave: Corpse Nation
11. Cyberhex
12. Red, White & Boom (feat. Caleb Shomo)
13. Scoring The End Of The World (feat. Mick Gordon)

For many years now, MOTIONLESS IN WHITE have had a three-pronged approach to their records: metalcore, hard rock and industrial/digital. It's clear that the goal for "Scoring The End Of The World" was to go big, with the focus more on the latter two genres. While no one can dispute that the production on the band's sixth full-length is enormous, there is a fine line between anthemic and trite that isn't always toed gracefully.

The apocalypse-themed album opens with "Meltdown", which gets exceptionally heavy halfway through, even veering into SLIPKNOT territory. This song's intensity is only matched — and perhaps surpassed — by "Slaughterhouse". The combination of Chris Motionless (vocals) and Bryan Garris (KNOCKED LOOSE) is extremely powerful, and the inclusion of a hardcore breakdown with dissonant chords demonstrates a unique fusion of the two bands' styles.

But there are several moments on "Scoring The End Of The World" that are just tacky, like the wolf howls on "Werewolf" and the spoken outburst of "research this, motherf*****" on "B.F.B.T.G. Corpse Nation". "Red, White & Boom" is utterly strange, alternating between creepy, bouncy verses and stadium rock choruses. Softer songs "Porcelain" and "Masterpiece" are fine, but frankly don't hold a candle to previous ballads like "Eternally Yours" and "Another Life". And fans who have been clinging to their well-worn copies of "Creatures" for the last decade plus will find little to satiate them aside from the enigmatic tracks "Cause Of Death" and "Burned At Both Ends II".

What saves them over and over again is their ability to write a chorus. MIW's industrial leanings often clash with their more rock-oriented parts, but when a wonderful chorus kicks in, one almost forgets about any awkwardness. The title track is well-composed and, unlike "We Become The Night", is anthemic in a way that isn't cheesy. Video-game composer Mick Gordon's ("DOOM", "Prey", "Killer Instinct") influence is clearly felt here at the album's conclusion, somehow uniting all of the tracks under one banner.

The big takeaway is that despite how incredible this band can be, they still have not managed to completely weave all of their musical influences together in a way that is unquestionably cohesive.

Author: Taylor Markarian
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