Motionless In White – Scoring The End Of The World
Released: June 10th, 2022
Chris “Motionless” Cerulli // Vocals
Ryan Sitkowski // Lead Guitar
Ricky “Horror” Olson // Guitar
Vinny Mauro // Drums
Justin Morrow // Bass
It’s been almost three years to the date since Motionless In White dropped their highly acclaimed album Disguise and in that time we’ve faced and overcome (just barely) a global pandemic that shut down the entire planet leaving chaos and destruction in its wake… For the majority of us, the experience was traumatic and will forever be ingrained in our psyche for years to come, but for a band like Motionless In White, surely it helped with the inspiration for their heavy new offering (and appropriately titled) Scoring The End Of The World. Let’s take a look…
Kicking off with a huge “BLEGHHH” surrounded by industrial metal synth and instrumentals is opening track ‘Meltdown‘ which sets us up for the futuristic/robotic theme of the album. Whether you love his clean or unclean vocals, Chris Motionless really shines with his unique signature sound that indicates you’re listening to another Motionless In White song. Vinny Mauro’s drums are on point, sending blasting beats to your chest that will feel incredible at their upcoming Aussie tour with I Prevail (if they play this song live, which I hope they do). The breakdown is tasty with Chris’ raw screams taking centre stage and alluding to what else this record has in store for us. ‘Sign of Life‘ features some intense sounding synth accompanied by riffy guitars and Chris’ melodic vocals easing us in. The singing/rapping style leading to the chorus harks back to sounds from Linkin Park‘s Meteora album, with a much heavier touch. When the chorus opens up, you’ll find yourself singing along in no time, because MIW know how to write infectiously catchy songs and this is no different. It also features their signature stop down (which is prevalent in a vast majority of their songs) where the music stops abruptly and Chris’ singing brings it all back in line again. When you hear it, you’ll know what I mean.
‘Werewolf‘ guides us in with a thumping, bass-filled synth sound that reminds me of the soundtracks from a bunch of 80s horror flicks (think Return of the Living Dead, An American Werewolf in London etc) and knowing how much Chris loves his horror movies, I’d dare say this may have influenced the song and its overall sound. The band then pulls the reigns on ‘Porcelain‘ which opens with a balladesque slow introduction complete with piano and lyrics ‘God knows I tried/But broken I bow to the beast inside/Cover my tracks but couldn’t swallow my pride/I’m sure as the moonlight strikes our skin/I held a wrecking ball and you were Porcelainnnn’ then the synth swarms in and the drums become the focus. It’s a sweet song, but slows down the pace of the record just as it was building up. ‘Slaughterhouse‘ is next and if you love the filthy/heavy side of this band, you should have this in your fav playlists already! Featuring Knocked Loose frontman Bryan Garris‘ rough screams, it borders on the fence between metalcore meets hardcore and that breakdown is absolutely, positively delightful! This is a song that is based on the “Us vs. Them” mentality of the pandemic – e.g. the rich vs the poor and I couldn’t think of a better soundtrack to send a big F*ck You to the scum of the earth who made our lives a living hell by doing what they wanted to do.
‘Masterpiece‘ slows the album down again for another balladesque intro that combines soft, chuggy riffs and Chris’ stadium rock styled vocal performance – proving he really is suited (and destined) for large scale venues, especially when busting out the chorus ‘So how do I apologize, and put the tears back in your eyes?/On every canvas that I paint, is a masterpiece made of my mistakes’ that leads into a radio rock styled breakdown that may be easy, but packs a bigger punch with each new spin. ‘Cause Of Death‘ switches gears (and sounds) to a more upbeat tempo synth that leads to some gnarly fast-paced screams/growls that’ll send chills up your spine when you hear them for the first time. When the chrosu rolls around though, the performance sounds very much like what we’ve heard over the past few songs without any new change. It’s Chris’ signature sound, yes, but it’s a very copy/paste melody style for each chorus thus far. This track in particular rips hard (with the non-chorus sections) due to the heaviness and frantic instrumentals, but I kinda feel like the chorus/slow sections let the rest of it down. At one point, I could sing along to the ‘Cyberhex‘ chorus (which has become one of my absolute fav jams from this band). Maybe I’m being picky, but I like to hear new developments or different structures in each song and not throwbacks to others, especially on the same album. Let me know what you think when you hear it, maybe I’ll be alone with this opinion, but if not, it’ll be good to know others hear what I mean.
Case in point, ‘We Become The Night‘ begins with a futuristic cabaret-style sound that is completely different to anything else heard so far on the album and it stands out as a new and exciting sound that I haven’t heard so far on Scoring The End Of The World. The choir hymns in the background are a nice touch and Chris Motionless steps up the performer inside to give us an impeccable delivery that’s addictive and alluring enough to draw you in with every word sung. If you love guitars, Ryan Sitkowski and Ricky “Horror” Olson are on fire with this one and there’s even a solo just before the climax that fits perfectly surrounded by the layers around it. Next up we’ve got a throwback for long-term Motionless In White fans with the band delivering a sequel to ‘Burned At Both Ends, a song from their 2012 album Infamous.
For the ill-informed, MIW are no strangers to revisiting old tracks and giving them an updated continuing story arc and when I quizzed Chris about why this song, in particular, was picked for a follow-up he explained:
“People love when we do sequels. [I was thinking] what song do I want to do. I looked back in our catalogue and I was like ‘What song is most relevant emotionally to where I’m feeling right now?’ And Burned At Both Ends is absolutely something that felt like, this, at the time, really speaks to what I’m experiencing now, [so] let’s do a sequel and expand that story and expand that world that very fortunately our cult fans are really into… So it felt like a special moment”
More on that chat soon, but as for ‘Burned At Both Ends II‘ this is what the boys do best. It’s a song that takes the listener on a journey from start to end with an ebb and flowing tempo, fast and slow guitars and the smooth flowing vocal delivery from screams to cleans that together don’t sound jarring in any way. It’s arguably one of my fav songs on the album (that wasn’t released as a single OR featuring a cameo) and it had me going back to Infamous and relistening that album after I finished this review. Talking about Motionless In White theatrics, ‘B.F.B.T.G.: Corpse Nation‘ is non-stop fun from start to finish. Think about what Ice Nine Kills do so well with their performances that translate well on stage and you’ve got this band playing along and keeping up with the masters at play. There’s a nasty “BLEGHHH” in the middle that’ll no doubt become a fan fav section to scream back at the boys when and if they play it live in future. ‘Cyberhex‘ is next and when the band first released this, I was captivated. I could not stop listening to it because of the combination of their metalcore sound and the industrial metal meets Terminator 80s soundtrack theme throughout. It really is an exceptionally produced, mixed and delivered song that got us all kinds of excited for this album. As a lead single, it really set up the signature sound for Scoring The End Of The World without any misleading. And that pre-breakdown call of ‘In this hell, you are my paradise BLEGGHHHHHH’ is f*cking filthy as hell. Also, kudos to the band for the play on words line ‘I’d kill to kiss your apocalips’. A 10/10 song.
The minute I heard Caleb Shomo of Beartooth was going to feature on this album, I was intrigued to hear what kind of direction they’d take – considering they’d previously teamed up for a remix to MIW‘s song ‘Another Life‘ – which took an 80s synth pop influenced path. But don’t expect that kind of sound for ‘Red, White & Boom‘ because it’s a balls out, hard rock belter with both frontmen bringing their signature styles to the table, combining what makes Beartooth and Motionless in White household names and merging them together in one handy location. I also hear elements of early Manson and Pantera, but at the end of the day it’s just a really fun track for everyone involved. Following the breakdown call of ‘one, two, f*ck you!’ Caleb’s influences shine through with the guitar-driven instrumentals sounding a lot like a B-side from Beartooth‘s latest rock-filled opus Below. Is this a contender for collab of the year? Yep!
The title and closing track wraps up the album with ‘Scoring The End Of The World‘ signalling the end is nigh. The opening feels like the start of a Mortal Kombat game which can be attested to the work of producer extraordinaire Mick Gordon, who teams up with the band for this one following his previous heavy soundtrack compositions for video games like Doom Eternal and Wolfenstein. Those influences shine through because this feels more like an adventure than a musical experience and perfectly sends the listener off on their way. Don’t expect too much screaming though, the focus is on the clean melodic delivery and the spoken word aspect, surrounded by a mechanical-esque backdrop which served as the overall theme of the album.
When I asked Chris what movie would best represent this album, his reply was Terminator meets Mad Max and I honestly cannot think of a better description. The futuristic concepts, combined with the hopeless feeling throughout represent a time in our lives when we felt nothing but despair and uncertainty, and I feel as if Motionless In White has wrapped up the past two years and repackaged our struggles/fears with a soundtrack that will no doubt take us back to this time in future years, but also remind us to not dwell on the past and to keep moving forward when life throws curveballs at you.
While it’s not a perfect album, it’s a continuation of the band’s signature sound and an example of what they can produce under extreme amounts of pressure… such as a global pandemic!
Motionless in White – Scoring The End Of The World tracklisting
2. Sign Of Life
5. Slaughterhouse feat. Bryan Garris of Knocked Loose
7. Cause Of Death
8. We Become The Night
9. Burned At Both Ends II
10. B.F.B.T.G.: Corpse Nation
11. Cyberhex feat. Lindsay Schoolcraft
12. Red, White & Boom feat. Caleb Shomo of Beartooth
13. Scoring The End Of The World feat. Mick Gordon
Check out our interview with Chris Motionless chatting all things Scoring the End of the World here
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