Every Time I Die - Radical - Track By Track Review

Ville S. Music Reviews

For the friends of: He Is Legend, Fever 333, The Dillinger Escape Plan
Genre: experimental hardcore, mathcore, hardcore punk, post-hardcore
Year: 2021
Favorite track(s): 'Planet Shit', 'Post-Boredom' and 'Desperate Pleasures'
Random words: landmine 

'Radical' is the 9th studio album by modern hardcore/metal pioneer 'Every Time I Die'. It is mind-blowing how after 20 years the band can still come up with such kick-ass tracks, some of them being their best ones in the whole of their discography. The new album is one of their most versatile albums, especially what comes to the vocals. 'Keith Buckley' is using his voice in ways that he has never done before. There are also featuring vocalists in 'All This And War' by 'Josh Scogin' ('68', The Chariot, Norma Jean) and in 'Thing With Feathers' by 'Andy Hull' (Manchester Orchestra). 'Radical' is not only varied with vocals but also by different styles and arrangements. Some of the tracks on the album are the heaviest in a long time and some are probably the softest of their whole discography. The challenge with the album is certainly the length, which has been the band's weakness with most of the albums. Album after album they become longer and longer and there are a couple of tracks that could have been dropped out. With that, the album would be very close to a perfect metal album. Still, it is clear that the album is one of the best ones in their discography.

Track by track review:

'Dark Distance' 
What a perfect way to start the album. Four previous albums all also have pretty much perfect tracks to kick the door open. In a way, the track is pretty simple compared to many other tracks but still contains some mathcore elements. Straight from the beginning 'Keith Buckley' proves again to be one of the best vocalists in the metal scene. The bass sound is amazing before the last punch starts.

This is somehow a pretty special track in their whole discography. The part with repeating lyrics sounds something that the band has never before sounded like. The melody almost reminds of 'Queen' (!). It's not a bad track, but not the best one on the album. 

'Planet Shit' 
This is a guaranteed 'ETID' track and one of the best in the album! The whole riff is crazy pretty much throughout the whole song. 'Planet Shit' has some distant resemblance to their older material with some rocking southern vibes. There are many brilliant hooks with drums. This is a track that makes you hope to hear it live! Basically, the whole track is just punching you in the nuts. 

Again a great track! Like 'Sly' this is also something that we haven't heard before from 'ETID'. The track is pretty soft, melodic, and easy to understand, but still, it's an awesome track. Same time it contains new ways for 'Keith' to use his voice. 'Post-Boredom' could almost be something from 'Keith's previous band' The Damned Things'. The C-part is probably the most melodic part in their whole discography. Once again many cool details on drums and how everything just flows so well! 

'A Colossal Wreck'
This is a signature track from 'ETID' being fast and aggressive but in away catchy. Same time there are so many different parts and things happening that it makes the whole track quite unpredictable. Gotta love the whole song! The ending, leading to the next track is awesome. 

'Desperate Pleasures' 
This is one of the best tracks in the album and even in the band's whole discography. The first 50 seconds is again something new from 'ETID'. The pressure and how the track slowly builds the atmosphere is brilliant with the repeating mantra-like lyrics. The drums are pretty crazy after the mayhem starts. The rhythm of how the vocals are arranged in the track flows so nicely that it gives you chills. The ending with the drop to lighter part and then to the chaos is just perfect. 'Desperate Pleasures' is one of the best tracks this year, despite the genre. 

'All This And War' (featuring '68)
The track starts straight away with a hit in your face. The first couple parts are very much again this signature 'ETID' stuff that's aggressive with winding guitar riffs and dropping the beat to the half at some point. But after the first minute, there is a great part with a slightly newer style of 'ETID'. It's sounding so good that I could listen to it much longer. But right after that comes the weak part of the track. The very straightforward part sounds just a bit too hillbilly with the bass drum hitting every note. Without this part, the song would be pretty much perfect especially with the featuring artist, 'Josh Scogin'. Oh man how much this song makes me miss 'The Chariot'. The very first scream of 'Scogin' is just pure pleasure. And the vocal arrangement and rhythm until the very end of 'Scogin' screaming his lungs out is just... perfect.

'Thing With Feathers' (featuring Andy Hull)
If 'Post-Boredom' was the softest what we have heard from the band, 'Thing With Feathers' takes it to the next level. Again this could be closer to 'The Damned Things' than 'ETID' song, but it works surprisingly well in the middle of the chaos. In a way, it is hard to evaluate how good the song is since it is so different from all other tracks of the band's discography. But still, pretty good track though.

'Hostile Architecture'
Back to the chaos and winding guitar riffs. The whole song is again amazing being so heavy, fast, and same time still catchy. There are glimpses of their earlier southern vibes with unpredictableness and so many different parts and riffs that there's no point trying to count all the different things happening. The heaviest and slightly slower part in the middle makes you want to break things. The ending where 'Keith' is repeating "I'm sorry" going into the heavy very ending is just awesome. One of my favorite tracks of the whole album.

One of the first singles of the album and no wonder since it is again just so good and very much what the band does best. This is probably one of the most straightforward of all the tracks and easiest to follow. Probably this is the reason being one of the first singles. Like many other tracks in the album, this makes you bounce. The slowest parts sound so brutal!


'The Whip'
LET'S GOOOOOO! Probably the fastest track in the whole album being also quite hardcore with the drumbeat and fast guitars. Again so many things happening that this track needs multiple repeats to fully understand it. 'Radical' has some of the softest tracks in the band's discography. Same time 'The Whip' might be one of their all-time heaviest tracks.

'White Void'
This one is definitely the album's weakest track. It has some southern vibes again, but it is not rocking, instead, it is trying to build some atmosphere but not fully succeeding with it. If there is something positive, the bass track is really cool. But otherwise, since the album is so long anyway, I would have dropped this song out.

'Distress Rehearsal'
Time to raise the tempo again! This song is a great example of how 'ETID' has always very well combined many different sub-genres of metal. The very beginning sounds very trash-metalish until there is drop messing up with discords reminding of old 'The Chariot' or 'Norma Jean'. In the end, we even hear a short burst of blast beat proving 'Radical' being probably the band's heaviest work.

The song starts very atmospherically with cool drum fills until it's time to run again. It's crazy how this awesome track can be so at the end of the album. The vocal arrangements go very well with the instruments and the part where 'Keith' is screaming 6669 sounds just so catchy! The ending when it goes back to more atmospheric has great guitars and crazy drums. The very ending with the gang shouts is also just brilliant.

'People Verses'
Not a bad track, but not the best. There have been so many gems before this that it's very hard to sound perfect. 'People Verses' slightly slows everything after the speedrunning and chaos sounding still pretty heavy. This is again one of the easiest tracks to follow. But like 'White Void' I would have dropped this track because of the already long tracklist. The melodic part, in the end, is still quite nice, and 'Keith's singing sounds great.

'We Go Together'
The noisy beginning has some resemblance to the band's previous album 'Low Teens'. The slow and heavy song suits well to be the last track. Not the biggest fan of some small vocal details with the track. The weird middle part is also pretty experimental to be 'ETID'. The noisy part is a great way to finish the album, but otherwise, I would dropped also this track from the album. 

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Listen to "Radical"

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