From Orange County, California comes the metal core band Of Mice & Men with their latest album Cold World. It’s a well-known band in the metal core scene, so I was pretty exited to review this album. I’m a big fan of metal core and I really like this band.
For those who do not know the band, the name is actually a reference to a book from John Steinbeck. There are two reasons why they choose the name, according to the band members. Austin Carlile said that the sentence ‘the well laid plans of mice and man often falter’ has a lot to do with Jaxin Hall’s (former band member and co-founder of the band) and his own life. They had plans for life, the plans failed and now they try to make the best out of it. The other reason comes from Jaxin Hall. He said that the main theme of the book is about the American Dream and being self-sufficient. They wanted to make the band their American Dream. Austin departed the band after this album, which he posted on Instagram. He left the band to focus on healing and moving on after settling in Costa Rica. Early 2017 he got a question about his future with the band. He made clear that he would not go back to the band. According to him, the other members would not let him write what he wanted on the next record. Enough about the band, lets talk about their music.
What I really like about this album are the changes from Austin’s grunting and his clean voice. It makes the grunting more powerful and it’s a thing I recognize in them. I listen to a lot of metal core, but I can understand that to the bystanders, the different bands would probably sound the same. I really bands with an own unique sound. Sometimes you just hear 2 or 3 seconds of the song and you can say which band it is. I must say that Of Mice And Men really has that. On this album they’ve got a pretty calm opening number called Game of War, which is pretty interesting. It’s nothing you would expect from a metal core band.
Their second song is a lot heavier and I must say that I like that contrast. The first time I heard The Lie, the guitar part reminded me a lot of the way Brian ‘Head’ Welch plays and it sounds really Korn-like. Being a big Korn and Love And Death fan, I really liked this song. The song The Hunger sounds like it could be a song from the band Red. Their song Relentless has a bit of a rap feeling and gives me a bit of a Linkin Park vibe. Don’t get me wrong, those are good bands. I think it’s pretty fun to listen to songs which make my head go ‘oh, that sounds like this band’. It sometimes makes me appreciate the music more, especially when it sounds like other good bands.
The one thing I miss at this album is music which sounds a bit like their former albums. For example, one of my personal favorites is the song Bones Exposed. It’s a heavy song and Restoring Force really has that feeling for the whole album. I really think that Cold World is decent, but they could have made it better. It’s not that I don’t like the album, but they’re a great band and I think it’s a bit mediocre. I expected more of them, but that’s probably because their previous albums are so good.
Written by Joshua
1. Game of War
2. The Lie
4. Like A Ghost
8. The Hunger
10. Down The Road
“Of Mice And Man” (2010)
“The Flood” (2011)
“Restoring Force” (2014)
Phil Manansala – Lead guitar and backing vocals
Valentino Arteaga – Drums, Percussion, programming
Alan Ashby – Rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Aaron Pauley – Vocals, bass, sting arrangements, programming
Austin Carlile – Vocals
Record Label: Rise Records, Sept. 2016
Video for ‘Real’
Video for ‘Pain’