There is something refreshing about a metalcore band that doesn’t have lyrics that are not rooted in being heavier versions of sappy love songs, or are the by-product of teen angst that did not manifest itself as pop punk. A defining characteristic of the older metalcore bands is that they were capable of writing creative song lyrics that actually addressed real world problems. My Ransomed Soul are one of those bands. They are a band that has been around since 2007, and avoided being part of the new-wave of metalcore and post-hardcore bands.
My Ransomed Soul is primarily prominent within the Baltimore metal scene, but have managed to establish themselves quite well as they release their third album Trilateral. It is understandable why My Ransomed Soul were able to carve out a niche within their own local metal scene. They deliver a sound that harks back to a combination of early August Burns Red, Howard Jones-era Killswitch Engage, and a healthy dose of the bristling aggression of melodic hardcore. Driving, melodic guitar riffs are complemented by the acidic snarls of hardcore riffs, swaggering distorted bass riffs and rhythmic drumming that doesn’t just see the kick-drum being heavily abused.
Amidst this typically metalcore set-up comes the vicious screamed vocals of Brandon Frey. His vocals burst forth alongside the aggressive instrumentals to assail one’s auditory canals. His vocals deliver a message that extends into multiple lyrical themes – from political commentary, to religion, to overcoming internal struggle. The most intriguing lyrical theme is found on “Mockingbird.” Frey gives an impassioned plea for us to open our ears and question what we know. He encourages the listener to actually contemplate what the album is about, and encourages the listener to “question everything”.
Furthermore, Frey strays into the realms of harsh political criticism as scathing criticism of the failing United States government bursts forth from the chugging melody of “Revolt”. He comments on how the government has twisted and perverted the concept of democracy, and has made it an impure and violated concept. This theme is extended into the song “Monarch”, as Frey snarls about how the government has brainwashed the general public to accept everything they are told.
“Apparitions” digs into a much more personal lyrical theme as Frey reflects on the pain experienced after losing someone. He accepts that being alone is inevitable in the end, and seems to accept that people leave whether by their own choice or by other slightly more worldly methods. The melodic nature of the song lends to creating the emotional palette of loss, regret, and bittersweet acceptance that Frey draws from on the song.
My Ransomed Soul is a unique band that draws on so many influences, but manage to condense it in a manner that becomes their own. They have the sound of a metalcore band, the aggression of a hardcore band, and the lyrical themes of a punk band. They decide to close their album off with a song that is steeped in religious sentiment, as Frey admits to finally accepting that there is a God out there. That is powerful stuff.