2. All My Friends Are Dead
3. Soak Me in Bleach
4. All I Do Is Sink
5. Baltimore Rain
8. Just Like Me
9. Born To Lose
10. Fever Dream
Australian Metalcore trailblazers The Amity Affliction return for their seventh studio album 'Everyone Loves You… Once You Leave Them', their first album for Pure Noise Records after their departure from Roadrunner and the followup to their divisive 2018 effort 'Misery', coming out just days before a sold out run of UK shows supporting Beartooth at the end of February.
"This album is a result of our re-found love for heavy music," The Amity Affliction says. "We wanted to make a heavier album to back up our most recent releases to let our fans know that we understand what the majority want to hear from us. We have experimented creatively over the years and are now able to apply what we’ve learnt to what we consider the perfect blend of Amity new and old." This statement certainly rings true for the majority of this album, with the heavier elements of the album being some of the heaviest songs they’ve ever released, and the softer elements being the softest, creating an interesting duality and dynamic to the album.
The album opens with the extremely atmospheric ‘Coffin’, which sets the tone for the album perfectly, blending the newer Electronic elements with classic Metalcore riffs seamlessly, which transitions smoothly into the extremely powerful lead single ‘All My Friends Are Dead’, perhaps the best showcase of the albums blending of Metalcore and Pop elements. The track begins with perhaps one of the harshest screams I’ve heard from Vocalist Joel Birch, showing his raw talent right off the bat. Every single other member of the band shows their proficiency and talent, within the opening of this song and indeed the rest of this album. As usual, Birch’s screams are complimented perfectly by Bassist Ahren Stringer’s clean vocals.
One of the constants throughout the band’s career has been their open attitude towards mental health issues, with such issues being extremely prevalent in their lyrics. This entire album is no exception, perhaps being most clear as the forefront of the vulnerable ‘Aloneliness’, the poppiest sounding track on the album. “It’s straight-up about being bipolar,” reveals Birch. “It’s the constant struggle to figure out who I am now. It’s the morbid and negative part of my existence. Luckily for me, I’ve got music. I have that daily releasee on tour. I don’t know what I’d do without it. There are individuals who aren’t that fortunate and are struggling to have some form of escapism.” I’m glad to see The Amity Affliction continue to be so open about mental health, as I believe it’s the element that sets them apart from the majority of the Metalcore scene.
My favourite track of the album comes near the tail end in the form of ‘Born To Lose’, perfectly blending the heavier side of Metalcore in the chorus with more Melodic Rock elements in the verses. This is definitely an example of an artist attempting different sounds going well, and it shows that they’ve responded to feedback they received from their last release. The Amity Affliction have proved that they are a band that is not afraid to evolve whilst also endeavoring to stay true to their established fanbase.
There’s a lot of criticism in other reviews I’ve seen that I feel is fairly unfair and definitely contradictory. The Amity Affliction have never been universally loved, despite having a sizable fanbase, and I honestly don’t understand what people dislike about them. I’ve seen people call bands “Amity Affliction sound-alikes”, but then a sentence later condemn The Amity Affliction while showering praise upon the bands who they’ve accused of sounding like The Amity Affliction, which puzzles me. Personally, I feel that this is an incredible album that has some extreme strength and passion behind it. 'Everyone Loves You… Once You Leave Them' is a beautiful addition to the band’s discography. There may be some fairly odd choices and the album feels very much bookended, starting heavy then moving to lighter then back to heavy, but this issue doesn’t lie in the songs for me, merely in the order that they are presented to us, and that is my only fairly major criticism of this album.
Website - http://theamityaffliction.net/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/theamityafflictionofficial/
Review - Gordon Rae