Last June, I spoke with Levi Benton about a future record that was to be titled Rise of the Lion. He told me that there was going to be a transition, a 100% new Miss May I. Now, eight months later, their single “Gone” has just been released, and I believe him.
After touring with Killswitch Engage and being nominated for a Golden God Award, “Gone” is what has officially released them into the world of Metal. It is instrumentally more mature, with no unnecessary breakdowns. There is no metalcore frill mistakenly in demand. Benton’s vocals are raw and the instrumentals complement each other well. They uncharacteristically incorporate a guitar solo, and the clean vocals are much improved, but more significantly their chorus is catchy and memorable.
Now frequently bands have been criticized by selling the idea that musicians are there for them (as recently exhibited in MEB’s single review for Of Mice & Men’s “You Are Not Alone”). However, while Miss May I has been telling sources that Rise of the Lion is for the fans whom their music has helped in the past, I do believe that their intentions are humble and not about providing a false sense of comfort.
Rise of the Lion is actually motivated by fan mail. The songs of this record have been composed from the perspective of the fans who have written to and/or responded to the band. So essentially, Miss May I is not selling the idea that they are there for fans, but rather that they are inspired by fans. And the emotional thoughts that are shared with them tend to be universal. “Gone” is about heartbreak and feeling lost.
To the relief of many longtime fans, the new style and sound instilled by this eight-year-old band does not mean that they are letting go of their past. In fact, they are bringing back a piece of their past with the revival of their Miss May I lion for the album artwork. And to show the world the logo’s strong representation of the band, they chose to release “Gone” with a music video displaying the process of the album cover’s creation: a man getting a lion tattooed on his back.
But what the music video honestly displays is a group of five guys jamming out. And if this single exemplifies where their album is headed, I could not be more excited. Contrary to the title of their new single, Miss May I is here to stay.