By Greg Maki
Looking to build off the success of 2019’s “Disguise”—particularly the singles “Brand New Numb” and “Another Life”—Motionless in White has returned with arguably its most complete album to date in “Scoring the End of the World.” Like its most immediate predecessor, the record leans heavily into the hard rock aspect of the band’s ghoulish sound while incorporating industrial and metalcore influences.
“Scoring …” kicks off at its strongest, with electronic sounds opening “Meltdown” before leading into a chugging metallic riff back by an eerie synth line and lyrics addressing climate change—“Ignore the warming and now we’re globally mourning/And it’s too late for a warning, it’s too late.” It then builds to a devastating breakdown, one of the few on the record.
Other highlights include “Werewolf,” which opens with a familiar howl and employs a seductive, electronic groove that sounds like the theme of some long-lost ‘80s horror movie; the banger “Slaughterhouse,” featuring Knocked Loose vocalist Bryan Garris and two breakdowns, the second one even heavier than the first; and the bouncy, incredibly catchy “Red, White & Boom,” featuring Beartooth’s Caleb Shomo and a nod toward early hit “A-M-E-R-I-C-A.”
Frontman Chris Motionless knows his way around a big chorus, and I’m sure a number of them from “Scoring …” will be stuck in my head for a long time to come. But as he’s improved as a singer over the years, those choruses are sounding more and more like hooks you might hear in a Breaking Benjamin song—not a real issue on the heavier Motionless tracks because there’s enough of the band’s own flavor around them to balance it out. But on semi-ballads such as “Porcelain” and “Masterpiece,” it’s a bit of a distraction, almost making you question who you’re listening to. Even that is a somewhat minor complaint, however, as the two songs cited are undeniably powerful pieces of music.
Motionless in White has compiled a solid catalog over the past decade-plus, though lacking in what I would consider signature songs, the kind of tracks that I keep returning to no matter how many years have passed. Still, the band has improved with each album, and “Scoring the End of the World” shows an act that could be on the cusp of true greatness.
Roadrunner Records – June 10, 2022