Halloween’s biggest advocates are back- Motionless In White are here; a wealth of their trademark macabre in tow, along with their fourth full length album. Graveyard Shift indeed does see Chris Motionless and co. visit sounds on paths they’ve not tread before- but ultimately it proves to the world that Motionless In White can still do what they’ve always done best- only better.
Opener Rats sounds like a graduate from last album Reincarnate- a natural progression encapsulating the electronic elements that were synonymous with that record. It takes more than just the first listen to appreciate what Necessary Evil (featuring none other than Korn’s Jonathan Davis) has to offer. In the intro, there’s (naturally) some noticeable Korn vibes (think along the same lines as Blind), while the pre-chorus is laden with such undeniable 90’s Manson vibes, it makes for MIW’s most infectious chorus since Infamous’ America.
Untouchable’s riff is this album’s answer to Dark Passenger, but goes on to deliver a chorus that is such an earworm, it far surpasses the aforementioned- with the addition of an abundance of gang vocals in the bridge. What we really need to discuss though, are the two tracks hidden away right in the middle of the album. Any fan of the gimmicky, kind of Hammer Horror side of Motionless In White were probably waiting eagerly for part two to Dead As Fuck. Here’s Not My Type: Dead As Fuck 2- awash with an electronic almost dance feel (in some parts), Rob Zombie-esque sound effects, echoes of kitschy horror movie voiceovers in the background, and perhaps the gaudiest, most lurid lyrics MIW have produced yet- it’s just loads of fun (but not if you take it too seriously).Meanwhile, The Ladder takes on the role of being the more serious standout track on the album. The track hurls itself headfirst into a Creatures era throwback- the beauty of which being it keeps all the better, older elements, yet demonstrates their growth and how the first album would sound if it were made now. LOUD (Fuck It) is definitely the deepest footprint in the formerly mentioned road lesser travelled by Motionless In White; while the lyrics don’t beat about the bush, and the song serves its purpose (the track was released initially with an explanation of its aims by Chris)- the chirpy melody in the chorus carries a slight pop punk vibe, which is for the most part, counter-intuitive to the rest of the album. In turn, this probably isn’t the strongest string on the Motionless bow.
570 is lyrically quite a personal song, despite its aggressive nature (but would it be so poignantly personal if not delivered in the heaviest Motionless way..?) The track documents their time as a band over the last ten years, and the things they’ve been through along the way. However, for everything else that has come before it, Eternally Yours really is Graveyard Shift’s crowning moment. Bringing the final of the numerous contagious choruses on the album, it feels like a summation of everything MIW have done thus far, perhaps explaining the feeling of familiarity it carries- it almost feels like a song that’s always been a part of their back catalogue. The stripped back closing verse, with one guitar and the raw, unprocessed vocals, is the perfect way to end the track and the album.
While for the most part, Graveyard Shift isn’t breaking any new ground for Motionless In White, it’s worth stopping and thinking that perhaps, that’s just the beauty of it. This feels like a culmination of all their albums so far, but in the way that they’ve learned a lot from the past and now each era is being given a new lease of life, all coming out sounding bigger and better. Plus, in a time where everything is changing, and so many bands are exploring completely different sounds, it’s comforting to hear a band staying somewhat true to their roots, yet still remaining at the top of their game. Graveyard Shift is out Friday March 5th via Roadrunner Records!