09 octubre 2019

Chronicling the gothic and industrial metal of Motionless in White

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Originally published in Rue Morgue Magazine on June 6, 2017

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There are very few bands with as strong a cult following as Motionless in White, one of the most famous and acclaimed groups in metalcore, gothic and industrial metal. I had my first contact with this band not long ago and thought they deserved a chance, and after going through their whole history, it has become clear I was right. Their evolution, sense of style and presentation have changed slowly to reach a very respectable status—but let’s start at the beginning…
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The story starts in 2005, whith Motionless in White self-distributed a homonymous demo containing three songs, all featuring a wild mix of screamo, metalcore and explicitly violent lyrics. “Trace Out the Heart” could be considered the most solid track, though MOTIONLESS IN WHITE still misses that special “something.” With the support of Masquerade Recordings, the band released their first EP, THE WHORROR, in 2007. It starts with a disturbing instrumental that sends chills down the spine, followed by a musical pandemonium, very similar to early Black Veil Brides and the most intense songs by My Chemical Romance. “Schitzophrenicannibalisticsexfest.Com” stands out as the group’s most ambitious track so far.
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However, it’s surprising that there’s no evolution in their next release, 2009’s WHEN LOVE MET DESTRUCTION, which could easily be considered a second part of their previous EP. There are minimal orchestral and electronic additions, but the overall concept is just the same. One can still praise the impressive vocals for their versatility and strength, and the “Bananamontana” track, though. Motionless in White followed up with CREATURES (2010), dedicated to their fans and possessing a heavier and more produced sound, with even more impressive vocals—albeit a lack of originality in most of the lyrics, covering topics already explored in their past discs. “Cobwebs” and their Rob Zombie cover “Dragula” are their best offerings this time.
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However, their subsequent INFAMOUS (2012) took me by surprise. Motionless in White were still employing graphic and explicit themes, but their music evolved to become melodic as well, with echoes of Marilyn Manson’s THE GOLDEN AGE OF GROTESQUE. “A-M-E-R-I-C-A,” “Synthetic Love” and the title track are particularly representative of this step forward. The band achieved a rock-oriented, more commercial and softer sound with 2014’s REINCARNATE, yet still retained their essence and soul. The style of “Unstoppable” is interestingly similar to that of Breaking Benjamin’s PHOBIA and stands as the best track because of the fusion it contains, along with “Generation Lost,” “Wasp” and “Dead as Fuck.”
Finally, Motionless in White’s most recent record, this year’s GRAVEYARD SHIFT, finds them working in an electronic vein, crossbred with darkwave style, gothic lyrics containing a high dose of metaphor and a highly evolved concept. Needless to say, this this is my favorite of all their albums, and I fell in love with “Not My Type: Dead as Fuck 2” and “LOUD (Fuck It).” I’m more than eager to hear what this group comes up with next!

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