Miss May I Album Review: Deathless
Like clockwork, as summer slows down, my need for new metal has arrived. Just in time, Miss May I are releasing their newest album: Deathless; it drops in a few hours (Friday August 7). You can buy it at their iTunes, via Rise Records. I got a sneak-peek at this album and I’m here to talk about it. Just one moment, though, I’m still recovering from my air-drum/air-guitar workout after listening to it. I put it on, and reflexively wanted to move. It’s as motivating as it is heavy; something that you can listen to in the background while playing chess (due to driving guitar and top-notch mixing), or dig deep into with headphones in bed.
There’s something about the transparency involved in Miss May I’s lyrics and clean instrumental mixing, produced by Joey Sturgis, who produced the previous two albums. It’s as if a good friend really needed to get something off of their chest, as they try their best not to scream your face off. They know that listeners will understand, and probably relate. Long-time fans have commended the band on how much harder they have become and I know a few people who have begun to turn their ear to the band, considering their evolution in sound. Jared Meyers, a fan of metal music, took a listen to their song “I.H.E.” and said “the music is fantastic work.”
I had not listened to Miss May I before this year’s Warped Tour, or so I had thought. When I went out to listen to some other bands I wasn’t super familiar with, I recognized their song “Relentless Chaos” from their 2010 album Monument. I recognized it, and when I went on to watch the video for “I.H.E.,” I not only noticed a departure from Monument (which I did enjoy), but found myself listening to this multiple times over a few hours.
“This music video for ‘Deathless’ was one of the best locations we have ever shot! We got to film in an old ran-down school that had a great dark vibe. The story for ‘Deathless’ was to show that you can dream of something greater than where you are and a peaceful place to reach for whether or not someone holds you back.” – Levi Benton
Rumor has it that Miss May I is aiming to get heavier, really digging into the drums, guitar chugs and growls, as they mature with their music. I predict that they will be received quite well, as their audience ages, giving them a chance to experience something new, but coming from a band they already love.
Some critics who didn’t enjoy it so much said “any band playing heavy music should understand that there are certain formulas and trends that have been worn out over the last decade or so, and deliberately incorporating them into new material is a mistake.” This generalization of a genre and disregard for trends coming and going is juvenile, leading me to believe that they never enjoyed Miss May I, but I may be wrong. I, personally, found it not only different from what the band previously released, but different from a majority of the metal I’ve listened to in the past. To say that this release is ‘worn out’ is to say that metal is dead.
Many bands are wary of toeing the line when it comes to evolving their sound, but I think that Miss May I are doing it brilliantly. While unapologetic, it reveals that they’ve been on the verge of this all along. I give the album Deathless 8/10, because I’m holding onto that nine-ten spot for their next release, because this one promises so much for the future of Miss May I.
“This record is about how the last two years have tested us on many levels and how we have come through it all stronger and better. That’s where the title comes from, because we are DEATHLESS.” – Levi Benton
We hope that you have a listen to the album, it drops in a few hours (Friday August 7), and we’ll be right there with you rocking out. You can buy it at their iTunes, via Rise Records and if you’re supremely strapped for cash and can’t dish out 9.99, RiseRecords is streaming the entire album on their YouTube. Remember, supporting Miss May I also helps support their friends and family (and animals), charities and side-projects.
#MMI #staymetal #deathless