Best of 2016 Playlist

January 8, 2016

The Word Alive - "Trapped" Single Review

A year and a half after releasing their album "Real.", The Word Alive return with their 4th album, "Dark Matter". Frontman Tyler "Telle" Smith has said, "...the result of our most in-depth writing and recording session we've done and our most dynamic and expansive album to date." With that in mind, the album's first single "Trapped" definitely lives up to that reputation. To buy the song on iTunes, and or preorder the album click the following (link). 

The Word Alive have come a long way since their 2010 debut. 2014's "Real." had the band embracing mainstream music, and the results had varying levels of success. Songs like "Never Forget" and "Glass Castle" were standouts, while others like "The Runaway" and "Lighthouse" felt too forced and produced. 

But this new song rises high above all past efforts. The song's jarring and dynamic intro is enough to earn the song 8/10. The subtle electronics and orchestration throughout the song isn't anything new. They're characteristics that many bands have been using as of late. But The Word Alive really utilize them to the fullest. The opening could have been taken from Hands Like Houses new album, and then mixed with Bring Me The Horizon's "Sempiternal" material.

The orchestration and driving guitar in the song's opening make this song larger than life. The result sounds like something taken straight from the latest action movie. It's a great atmosphere, and definitely reenforced the band's statement that this album is going to be bigger and better than anything else they've put forth. 

The first verse features Smith using a more "spoken word" style. But midway through, he switches to a gritty, half sing performance. The contrast is excellent. And with the driving bass line backing the vocals, that first verse will have you hooked instantly. The second verse brings the song back into the metalcore realm, Smith's always great unclean vocals charging ahead. 

The repetitive nature of the chorus isn't a negative. The lyrics are chanted at top volume with a solid backing from the rest of the band. The orchestration isn't lost, and is clearly used as the main melody maker. Smith's overall dark delivery only heightens the song's theatric feel. "I'm trapped, I'm trapped. I'm trapped in my head!" You can't hear that and not want to sing along. 

But what one can really enjoy about the song is the fluctuating nature of the song. It starts out very smooth and melodic, then jumps into a very rhythmic chorus. The ambient orchestration and electronics transition into hard and full guitar and bass lines, and a steady drum beat. This is more progressive metal than metalcore, and the band have executed it perfectly. 

Summary -
The rest of "Dark Matter" has a lot to live up to. The album's first single have blown us away, and proven TWA deserves their place at the table among other metalcore royalty. The band has blended arena rock, progressive music, and hardcore into one beautifully crafted song. Written in the same vein as recent songs from Architects, and Bring Me The Horizon, we highly recommend you listen to this song. And if you aren't hooked, we're sorry because you're missing out on something really amazing. 

Rating - 9.5/10