Motionless In White made waves in 2012 with their scene-shaking Fearless Records debut Creatures, and have since become the burgeoning goth princes of modern metal. Their latest effort Disguise has much more of an appreciation for the raw, sinister energy Creatures brought to the table than their last album Graveyard Shift, but does not ignore the things they have learnt since. Motionless In White never forget what it is that makes them unique, and this album is a testament to what they are capable of.
Explosive opener Disguise is everything people have come to expect from a Motionless song. Creepy, horror inspired keys prelude the monolithic barrage of low guitars and frantic vocals. Manson-esque electronics and a suitably infectious chorus bring the album in on a high note, even if it is a very familiar one. Although the track borders on formulaic, it is a perfect way to get long time Motionless fans along for the ride.
Headache and c0de see the band begin to explore more of their previously under-utilised influences with all the hallmarks of the nu-metal greats like Korn and early Linkin Park. Intense and ferocious vocals alongside evil riffs help to capture sonic hatred in a way that most artists cannot in Headache, and the angsty chant of ’Shut up shut up shut up shut up!’ will undoubtedly have droves of dedicated Motionless In White fans screaming their lungs out at shows.
Thoughts & Prayers would not feel out of place on Infamous; frantic, rabid and laden with gothic synths. These all precede a breakdown that can only be described as an eruption; as Chris screams ‘Open your fucking eyes!’ with venom, the track becomes a barrage of industrial force. Their ability to flow effortlessly from this, into the grandiose melodic nature of Legacy is a testament to this band’s range. This track provides a repose amid an album bursting with relentless energy, introducing a new approach to their sound that has not been heard before. The track places a much greater focus on the vocal work and the riffs take a back seat, which is effective in what it does. Although it kind of feels like there is something missing in Legacy, it only helps to strengthen the thunderous arrival of Undead Ahead 2: Tales of the Midnight Ride. The sludgy, evil intro perfectly encapsulates the band’s halloween-driven approach to metal, providing a heavy, trudging force that drags you through their twisted nightmare of headless horsemen and blood soaked trees. This song brings back the dark, twisted horror soundscapes of the band’s debut album more so than any other track, but infusing it with the gravitas of the bands recent work. The result is fantastic feat and will likely become a fan favourite for those praying for the band to return to their roots.
Holding on to Smoke and Another Life are predictably anthemic and formidable, also sporting a more stripped back approach, but to a more tasteful degree. The frequency of vocally driven songs shows how vocalist Chris Motionless’ confidence in his own abilities has grown, now feeling that he has the talent to carry out songs independently of any instrumental flourishes. Broadcasting From Beyond the Grave: Death Inc. is groovy, industrial and gothic, recreating the tongue in cheek swagger of Dead As Fuck 2: Not My Type (from their last album), but with a lot more fun. This is a dirty, industrial, pulsing tune reminiscent of Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson; two giants that Motionless could very comfortably share a stage with. Brand New Numb also keeps this swagger going with a sarcastic edge and a dirty, punky vigour.
Closing track Catharsis is arguably the poppiest side of this new record, opening with a stellar chorus that will get stuck in heads instantly. The stomping rhythms that begin to emerge and the resonating scream that closes out the record is a reminder of the depths the band can dive and the heights they can reach.
Disguise is the sound of a band entirely comfortable with who they are and what they can do. From start to finish, it showcases all the best elements from each of their albums, whilst stepping into some new territory, and simultaneously never forgetting what they’ve learned along the way. Having spent years finely honing their identity, Motionless In White now find themselves with the confidence to explore a multitude of influences and genres, tying them together effortlessly with their highly polished sound and impressively consistent song-writing.