The Word Alive - Empire EP
Record Label: Fearless Records
Release Date: July 21, 2009
Craig Mabbitt's (Escape the Fate) former side-project and one of Fearless Records' newest signies hailing from Phoenix, Arizona. The Word Alive, Tyler Smith (lead vocal), Zack Hansen (back-up vocals and rhythm guitar), Tony Pizzuti (lead guitar and backup vocals), Nick Urlacher (bass), Dusty Riach (keyboards, piano, programming, and synths), and Tony Aguilera (drums and percussion), are a post-hardcore band sure to please any headbanger looking for a good breakdown. Combining piercing vocals and bellowing growls, The Word Alive pound away at a tried-and-true formula, bringing the listener uncomfortably close to the trials and tribulations of life.
How is it?
Pretty damn brutal. The 6-song, debut EP is a relentless journey, never letting the listener take a break from their inevitable head-banging session. Using sick breakdowns and slick synth beats, coupled with the dichotomy of the two vocalist, The Word Alive creates a debut worth noting. From the opening track, "Battle Royal," the brutality is etched in stone. If you are looking for a breather, you are not going to find one here. Track after track, The Word Alive cease to let up. The last track, "How To Build An Empire" is easily the best of the EP, with its crushing breakdowns, 80s-esq guitar solo, and honest lyrics ("These words that you're saying / They fall from your lips and I'm not even listening / We've wasted so much time / Pretending that you cared"). The EP is not without its faults: the lyrical content is repetitive (count how many times The Word Alive reference "breathing"), the production value is just average, and well, we have heard the same songs from The Devil Wears Prada. However, in the end, this is a very solid debut. The Word Alive have definitely placed themselves on a "Must Keep An Eye On" list.