Monday, July 24, 2017 This Week's Paper

Every Time I Die

// "Ex Lives"

Formed in Buffalo in 1998, Every Time I Die has been blending punk and metal into their aggressive style of music for 14 years. They continue with that approach on their sixth album.

“Underwater Bimbos From Outer Space” starts things off with singer Keith Buckley offering thoughts about death. “We were the last of the lost, but now we are the first of the fashionably late/ I refuse to be the only man put to rest in a mass grave.”

“Holy Book of Dilemma” is a fast hardcore tune.

The pace slows down considerably on “A Wild, Shameless Plain.” Buckley criticizes those who engage in hunting big game in exotic lands. “Shot down in its sleep/ the big game of the world-wide garbage heap/ you mounted its head on your wall.”

Ryan Leger’s drumming propels “Typical Miracle.” The nihilistic imagery continues on this tune. “There was whiskey in the devil’s blood, and there was blood in my cup/ so I will make me a better grave/ I will find a better way.”

Josh Newton’s bass playing on “I Suck (Blood)” faintly recalls that of Steve Harris of Iron Maiden, circa early 1980s. By this point, a musical trait of this band becomes apparent – sometimes the compositions are so busy that the instruments compete with, rather than complement, each other.

“Partying Is Such Sweet Sorrow” begins with what sounds like a banjo and an electric guitar playing the same riff. Buckley layers his vocals quite a bit, making it sound like there are two lead singers.

“The Low Road Has No Exits” is very hard rocking at first. The instrumentation gets a bit cluttered until two minutes in, when the song shifts into a space-out, quite mode.

“Revival Mode” is among the better songs. Its one drawback is that during a rare guitar solo (and a quite good one) Buckley sings over it entirely. This would have been a good time to let the guitar shine.

The final track, “Indian Giver,” is very interesting. The pace slows down during the chorus. The singing recalls Tool while the music suggests Pink Floyd. At the two-minute mark the tune shifts over to a slow riff that would have fit well on an old Black Sabbath album. It ends with some notes being sustained for about 30 seconds. It is a nice change of pace from the punishing material that makes up the majority of the album.

Every Time I Die plays on the Vans Warped Tour at the Gorge Amphitheatre in George on Aug. 4.