This year hasn’t been very good towards the metalcore genre. While it did have some stellar releases (Our Last Night, MSWHITE, The Ghost Inside), there were also several mediocre ones (Woe Is Me, Confide) and some that just weren’t very good to say the least (Attack! Attack!, Abandon All Ships, Scareltt O’ Hara). Luckily there are bands like A Bullet for Pretty Boy who are doing their best to provide some life to this genre. Hailing from the Lone Star State, the band released their debut EP Beauty Is In the Eye of the Beholder, which although didn’t rely on gimmicks, it lacked memorable tracks. Despite that, they managed to catch the attention of the Artery Foundation who signed them to their management and later to their record label. Now the band has returned with their first full-length Revision: Revise which has given me reason to believe that the future of metalcore is still in good hands.
The album kicks things off with “The Deceiver”, which gives a good introduction to the band, but if you’re going to judge the band off one song don’t make it this one, because in all honesty this track doesn’t give the rest of Revision: Revise enough justice. This album is packed with everything the metalcore genre has been missing: technicality, intense breakdowns, smooth clean vocals, and one of the best keyboard performances in a long time.
A Bullet for Pretty Boy can really play their instruments and they show it throughout Revision: Revision, with strong songwriting (“Revision: Revise”, “Vita Nova”) and not through awkward, out-of-place sweeps. The band may not stray from the breakdown routine, but the breakdowns are carefully added and given a touch of originality through the keyboard (“Decisions”, “Voices and Vessels”). The screamed vocals of Danon Saylor in the album, while great in their own regard, are overshadowed by his smooth clean vocals, which at times reach tremendous heights (“Patterns”), while synth player Joshua Modisette does exactly what is needed of a keyboardist; instead of going overboard with the techno beats, Modisette provides the ambient feeling that gives the tracks on Revision: Revise a darker vibe (“Windows”, “Patterns”). And on “Only Time Will Tell”, he even trades his electronics for some beautiful piano sequences that give more originality to the album.
Everything culminates with closing track “I Will Destroy the Wisdom of the Wise”, in which the clashing polarities of frontman Danon Saylor’s singing and screaming are supported by intense music from the rest of the band, ending the album the way a record should finish, with a sense of awe and the listener’s jaw wide open.
Revision: Revise has restored my faith in many ways. It has given me faith that kids will be exposed to some metalcore worth listening to. Hell, it’s even restored my faith in Cameron Mizell (whose previous production work I can’t stand) due to the fact that he’s finally giving more attention to the other aspects of the band not called drummers. But most of all, it has given me hope that the metalcore genre is not as dead as I thought it was, just as long as bands like A Bullet for Pretty Boy continue to be open-minded about their genre and do not associate themselves with any trends.