Review: Motionless In White, ‘Reincarnate’
Review By: Josh Weisner
Motionless In White are back at it again; producing the dark and angry sound we have all grown to know and love with their new album ‘Reincarnate’. The name is fitting simply because they have metaphorically reincarnated themselves as a band leaving lead vocalist Chris Motionless the only original member; as far as I am concerned, this is the best version of the band and I hope that they continue down the path that they are on. With Marilyn Manson-esque vocals, searing guitar riffs, catchy keyboard leads, and collaborations that are unexpected yet very tasteful, Motionless has produced what I think may be their best album yet.
From ‘Creatures’ in 2010 to ‘Reincarnate’ in 2014, Chris Motionless has grown into a very talented songwriter, arguably one of the best writers to enter the post-hardcore scene. Starting out with “Death March” on the band’s third full length album, we hear a heavy riff with a relentless chant, “Death! March” into what might be one of the darkest songs on the album with a hint of motivational speaking for the audience; the clever incorporation of motivation in a dark song is one of my favorite aspects of the Motionless writing style. “I control my own destiny/and I won’t suffer in vain/My enemy will not be the end of me.” is exactly what I am talking about; you are in charge of your destiny and nothing can bring you down if you do not let it. Well said Mr. Motionless!
The first single and the title track “Reincarnate” begins with keyboards followed by guttural screams that are unique to the Motionless In White sound; the clean vocals in this song are a perfect accompaniment to the music supporting his lyrics. This song resembles what it is to move on and be given a second chance and rising above other peoples’ jealousy over all of one’s accomplishments. “So hate me cause you’re standing still/watching while I shoot to kill” resembles jealousy from a third party while someone pushes through everything to get to the top of their craft, something Motionless In White must be familiar with. This might be my favorite song on the entire album with a perfect swirl of clean vocals and guttural screams.
Following “Reincarnate” is the first collaboration “Puppets 3 (The Grand Finale)” featuring vocals from Dani Filth (Cradle of Filth), possibly one of the best collaborative efforts from a band; these two vocalists are a perfect match for sound. Dani’s heavy screams at the beginning transitioning to Motionless’s screams feels effortless, like the two had been doing this together for years, not to mention Filth’s screams fit perfectly with the Motionless Darkness (not one of my best phrases).
As we skip ahead a few tracks (not to say “Unstoppable”and “Everybody Sells Cocaine” aren’t fantastic tracks) to “Contemptress” which has guest vocals from Maria Brink of In This Moment. This is one of my favorite collaborations because I have always been a sucker for vocals between male and female voices and Brink has one of the best and most unique voices in rock music today, especially with her screams that most can only wish to imitate. The chemistry between these two vocally is undeniable and you can hear it when they are both singing at the same time with perfect harmonies that raise the hairs on your arms. I really hope to see another team like this in the future for Motionless In White.
Next we move on to “Break The Cycle” which is back to the usual darkness presented by the Motionless In White sound. Walking through life alone is tough and certainly there are many people out there doing it, but it doesn’t have to be that way; hence the title of this song “Break The Cycle” and the last line is the perfect summary to the whole track “Open the door to the unknown”. You never need to be scared of what may be next, even if you don’t know what it may be, and you are never alone.
“Dead As Fuck” might just be one of the most sick and twisted songs ever written but it is oh so great despite what it is about. It has a catchy keyboard lick with a chorus that is impossible to get out of your head. “D-E-A-D she’s my graveyard baby/D-E-A-D she’s my woman queen” words spoken about a dead woman. As twisted as the song may be, it is extremely catchy and makes us think a little bit less about necrophilia (although I think the Twilight Saga addressed that topic as well as beastiality). Great song guys! A little twisted, but nonetheless, great!
As the record comes to a close, the band has lost no energy with “Carry The Torch”, as a matter of fact, this is one of the highest energy tracks on the whole album. Chris’s vocals are relentless while the guitars start off slow with tasteful harmonizing and quickly kick in with searing riffs. I like this song because it is just raw with the screaming, but the cleans quickly pick up in the chorus to add a melody. I found myself upset when the song ended because I realized the CD was over and I wanted more; oh well, I will just listen to this over and over and listen to their previous albums as well.
‘Reincarnate’ is not for everyone, but it is definitely one of my favorite releases of 2014 with some of the best songwriting around. As much as Chris Motionless may hate when people say his lyrics are inspirational, the inspiration is undeniable whether it inspires us, or he has been inspired to write this music (clearly he has). I really like the uniqueness of this band because sometimes having a keyboard player may take away from some of the elements of the lead guitar, but this is definitely not the case in Motionless. From start to finish this is a 5/5 album and I would recommend this to anyone that enjoys any band on the post-hardcore scene. I look forward to more from them as well as hopefully more collaborations.
You can catch them on tour with Chiodos, Bring Me The Horizon, and A Day To Remember on the Parks and Devastation Tour. I caught most of the Motionless In White set at Vans Warped Tour and they were phenomenal. Make sure to support the artists you love so they can keep making the music you love!