It’s really apparent that Los Angeles, CA metalcore quintet Of Mice & Men has truly stepped out of their comfort zone for this album. Restoring Force is the third studio effort from the band, and it is undoubtedly their strongest.
This time around, OM&M went into the studio with producer extraordinaire David Bendeth (who also recently produced Bring Me The Horizon’s Sempiternal record). The result is eleven tracks of heavy-hitting, powerful, fantastically crafted songs. It is no surprise that after working with Bendeth, the album does feature a few tiny similarities to the sound of Sempiternal, but OM&M have indeed created their own identity as a collective group of musicians.
This album sees the band taking a slight step back from the metalcore sound that is prevalent in today’s music scene. The songs bring to mind artists such as Korn, Slipknot, and Linkin Park. It’s definitely not nu-metal; there’s no rap verses. But the heavy parts are fucking heavy.
The band’s musicality seems to improve immensely every time they release an album. Vocalist Austin Carlile’s ferocious screams resonate well throughout the duration of the entire record (he’s even started to sing a little!), and adding in the soaring clean vocals of bassist Aaron Pauley makes the final mixes even stronger. Guitarists Alan Ashby and Philip Manasala shred and showcase their guitar playing abilities numerous times, and drummer Valentino Arteaga is still going crazy on the drums.
In addition, the mixes on this album are much better than their previous ones. A few of the songs on “The Flood”, their previous album, while I loved it, almost felt a bit too compressed. The mixing and mastering on Restoring Force allows each song to breathe, taking the form of the beast that it truly is.
For old fans of OM&M, be prepared. It’s the same, but it’s not exactly the typical Of Mice & Men you’re used to. But if you take a step out of your comfort zone, just like the band members, you’re going to love it.
Restoring Force is being released on Rise Records, and will be available in stores everywhere and iTunes on January 28, 2014.
This has been another shameless promotion.