LIKE MOTHS TO FLAMES
When We Don’t Exist
Modern metalcore seems to fall into two categories these days: Good or Bad. With the overabundance of bands chomping at the bit to be top dog it’s hard to distinguish one’s self (a topic I have hit upon before. JH) from the rest of the others. When LIKE MOTHS TO FLAMES released their Sweet Talker Ep in 2010 it was a tatse of what the band could do. It flowed through its 5 tracks sounding very young but good, reminding the listener of THE PLOT IN YOU. Not a bad comparison by any means. Considering lead vocalists past (fronting AGRACEFUL and EMAROSA), LIKE MOTHS TO FLAMES is a whole new, angrier creature. Where the Sweet Talker EP failed to separate itself from the rest of the Rise Records roster, When We Don’t Exist excels leaps and bounds. This record embraces the heavier end of the ‘metal’ part of metalcore. Still having a nasty PLOT IN YOU vibe has helped this band grow into the abusive monster it is now. Opener ‘The Worst In Me’ starts off haunting before kicking in full swing. The breakdowns are more destructive and solid than before and the vocals are more pissed off, and more soulful when they are clean. The musicianship is tighter and more focused. Not as standard as other’s in this genre. Lyrically the subject matter seems more personal and not from a third person standpoint, which ultimately adds to the more abrasive nature of the music. Tracks like ‘Faithless Living’ encompase and highlight these facts. ‘Your Existence’ is easily in league with any of LEGEND’s material. Heavy as a wrecking ball and every bit as destructive. It ends and leaves you wondering exactly what the fuck just happened here? In a good way. ‘Real Talk’ once again displays this band and what they are capable of. Soaring clean, soulful vocals inter twine with the more than brutal ending. Without a doubt, LIKE MOTHS TO FLAMES have released an album that takes the same boring formulatic metalcore design and adds a touch of mature flare to it, making it a little more fresh than it was yesterday. When We Don’t Exist is an excellent stepping stone to keep this genre and band relevant for years to come. -by Jon Hole
Recommended listening: all 11 tracks
Production credits: Produced, engineered, mixed and mastered by Will Putney (For Today, Upon a Burning Body, The Human Abstract) for Machine Shop Productions
Release date: November 8, 2011
In conclusion…When We Don’t Exist is meant to convey the idea of not “existing” the way that we have before: Not being yourself anymore, not believing what you used to believe, not feeling how you used to feel. With that in mind, Like Moths To Flames are on the right path to helping change the same mediocrity that makes music heavy genres bland and boring.
This album came as a bit of a surprise, despite all of our anticipation for it. The band’s last EP, Sweet Talker, was definitely a solid introduction, but did need a lot of polish and work. However, When We Don’t Exist has taken all the problems of that album and fixed them (as well as improved upon the best elements of the EP). The full length opens in an epic manner with “The Worst In Me”. Its gradual opening almost makes it seem like an instrumental intro, but then it explodes into a large sounding track full of brutal breakdowns and great chorus points. Luckily, it’s no one-hit-wonder. The album never loses steam as it works its way through to the end, which is saying something; this a genre that tends to become stale a few tracks into their albums. The second track, “GNF”, is probably the best track of the bunch. The vocal work really shines here, as do the lyrics. Still, there are plenty of fantastic moments throughout When We Don’t Exist. One of the great things about this album is how well the band are able to blend the chaotic, angry elements with the melodic and catchy moments. Some good examples would be “No Hope” or “You Won’t Be Missed”, both of which includes some really heavy portions accompanied by soaring chorus work. This sort of thing is carried throughout the record, and yet doesn’t grow stale. The only real complaint I had with this collection is that two old songs were used. I’m glad they were re-worked for this release, but I still prefer to hear all new songs with every passing album. Otherwise, Like Moths To Flames have really stepped up their game with When We Don’t Exist. This album is a goddamn beast. – By Nathaniel Lay
> Recommended Tracks: “The Worst In Me”, “GNF”, “Trophy Child”, “My Own Grave”…well, actually every track is highly recommended
> Release Date: November 8, 2011
> Bottom Line: Like Moths To Flames took everything good and bad from Sweet Talker and improved upon it. When We Don’t Exist is a highly memorable and recommended album for any fan of metalcore.