The initial impression of “Restoring Force” is that this album showcases a real maturity and attitude change within the group, as well as a willingness to experiment with different rock genres, such as nu-metal, alternative, and even hard rock. Aaron Pauley cements himself beautifully within the band as their new bassist and clean vocalist, while Austin Carlile improves his vocal game, bringing more emotion than ever to his already evolving vocal range. In tandem, Carlile and Pauley become a vocal powerhouse and it reflects throughout the whole album.
Let’s break it down song by song.
Public Service Announcement: This song comes out roaring right off the bat, which is what you want from an opening track. Austin Carlile makes it evident that he’s pissed about something and makes it every clear. This song does a great job setting the theme for the record, as any great album opener should. It ranks as a favorite tracks on the record.
Feels Like Forever: Aaron makes his vocal debut on this track and he starts it off with a bang. His clean, melodic voice complements the guttural growling and screaming of Carlile wonderfully. Carlile gets some oomph in his screams, making this track powerful and in your face. Lyrically, this song is very emotional, and it seems that Austin is attempting to reach out to the listener in a sort of consoling way. The evolution of the band’s songwriting is really debuted here.
Bones Exposed: This song gets right in your face from the start, with a crushing riff and punishing drum beat. This album’s cut single is most definitely one to savor, and would make great song to introduce showcase OM&M to those who aren’t familiar.
Would You Still Be There: This song has a very unique nu-metal/alternative vibe, which is very interesting. Lyrically, it’s a little repetitive, which could become displeasing for some listeners. Although, a nice bonus in the song is that we get a small, not overly-technical guitar solo.
Glass Hearts: The sound of this song is very reminiscent of track from their previous album, “The Flood”. The track is also another emotionally charged lyrical piece, with such examples as “This is not a home, they don’t even see me” and “The scars on my body, they don’t even bleed. I only do this for you to see” The track seems to be and anthem in the making for their teenage fan base.
Another You: Aaron Pauley steals the show yet again with another great vocal performance alongside the screaming of Austin Carlile. This song has a very rock ballad like feel to it. When played live, this could be one of the songs where fans would pull out the lighters and sway to the beat. It is easily one of their most emotionally powerful songs to date.
Break Free: This song has a very similar sound to the band, Bring Me the Horizon, especially from their latest album, Sempiternal. It’s a great sounding song if you happen to be a fan of both Bring Me the Horizon and Of Mice & Men. It is a little soft for the group’s usual sound, but it place nicely into the flow of the album as a whole.
You Make Me Sick: This song kicks off with an incredibly heavy riff, almost stretching into the hard rock spectrum, with hints of Breaking Benjamin in the mix. This track could do without the scream that Carlile makes halfway through the song that sound like he’s being choked during the breakdown. Other than that, this cut reestablishes this tempo set early in the album.
Identity Disorder: This track is, unfortunately, another very lyrically repetitive song that borderlines on annoying because of it. There is a Three Days Grace vibe throughout the electronic/guitar driven beat, as well as the vocal style Carlile displays in the track. Fans of Three Days Grace should give this song a listen, for sure.
You’re Not Alone: The album’s first single is a very catchy tune, with an upbeat riff. This song is another emotionally uplifting piece, with Carlile letting the listeners know through the lyrics, that he supports all of those going through whatever personal issues they may be enduring. This also is another good track that exemplifies the band’s sound.
Space Enough To Grow: The album’s finale is a great way to conclude this album. Aaron Pauley takes over one last time on vocals and delivers an incredible performance, sealing the album shut with a four-minute piece of melody and emotion.
In all, we are treated to a new, fresh sounding Of Mice & Men that, once they polish off small cracks, such as lyric structure and vocals, could well become an unstoppable juggernaut metalcore/ post-hardcore.
- You Make Me Sick
- Public Service Announcement
- Bones Exposed