Usually with a band’s third album, they might make a consensus decision to either build on the previous sound shown in past albums or abandon it completely. Motionless In White are on at a crossroads between their Warped Tour audience and something bigger than that. How do you exactly appeal to your roots while building your fan base? I always saw Motionless as a throw back to acts like Wednesday 13, Cradle of Filth and Alice Cooper. They are our modern day Misfits with an updated sound. Horrorcore on a grander and welcoming scale. Reincarnate still has the music that appeals to their younger base, but pushes to move forward as the band sees potential to gain mass appeal.
Right from listening to this album, I got a similar feeling when listening to Marilyn Manson’s Golden Age of Grotesque album. The breakdowns and aggressive guitar are still here, but there is more of an industrial influence here. Keyboardist Josh Balz has a huge imprint all over Reincarnate. Lead singer Chris Cerulli has improved his vocal range, but has shown to channel his inner..well Mansion especially in diction and lyric structure. Listen to songs like “Death March” and “Everybody Sells Cocaine” and they SOUND like earlier Mechanical Animals material. There’s even a collaboration with ex-Manson contributor Tim Skold although “Final Dictvm” is more Combichrist and KMFMD. To his credit, I don’t think that Manson could nail the chorus parts that Motionless can, but there were some points where I was trying to figure out what the band’s identity was.
“Puppets 3 (The Grand Finale)” is an excellent example where you can be a chameleon and still maintain individuality. The collaboration with Cradle of Filth lead singer Dani Filth brings the likeness of his band in the first part and has Motionless take over in the second part. This dichotomy is also shown in the band’s first single, “Reincarnate”. This is a snapshot of where the band has been and currently going – breakdown like rifts from guitarists Ryan Sitkowsk and Ricky Olson and a well sung chorus from Cerulli. These song structures are why the band will be able to constantly build on their sound as they get even better at being song writers. Kudos!
There are some songs that I feel are an olive branch to the old Warped Tour base in “Generation Lost” and “Unstoppable”. These songs don’t necessarily push the band forward, but I caught myself nodding my head to them and I can see where the younger fan base will take them and run. There’s one track in particular on this record, “Comtemptress” that is a collaboration with Maria Brink from In This Moment where I acknowledged that Motionless has “it”. It’s a macabre tale of love where the duet between Cerulli and Brink that hints that the more mature sound that the band could go. “Your skin like winter, I felt you shiver/I heard you whisper but the pills were quicker/I watched you wither, I am the killer.
Reincarnate is a good move forward when the band is using their influences as a tool and not to mask their own ideas. It’s punchy, angry and intricate. There’s a little variety for everyone. I feel like with subsequent releases, Motionless In White can dive more into what makes them tick and hopefully not spread themselves too thin with the gravitational pull that music can be. As of now, the compass is pointing in the right direction.