A stellar album for a band that's had some ups and downs
Ohio metalcore masters Miss May I have released what I consider to be their strongest album with "Shadows Inside". From beginning to end, this album takes all the elements the band have done well from their previous efforts and meld them all together in a metalcore cocktail that is equal parts melody, rage, hooks, and severe catchiness. The opening track sets the tone with this wicked little riff that wouldn't sound out of place on the new Megadeth album. Then Levi Benton's snarling vocals come in and things kick in to high gear. The back and forth of the vocals on this album are some of the best I've ever heard the band churn out and they really do a great job balancing the clean and scream together. Musically, I couldn't be happier with the way things turned out on this release. There's a bit of variation on every song on "Shadows Inside" and while you might have a few elements that are utilized on several tracks, you still get something different from the rhythms, melodies and overall songwriting on every track. You get a really nasty, aggressive intro on 'Shadows Inside' but then get this soft, soulful acoustic intro on 'My Destruction' and a little bit of everything in between on the other tracks. While MMI might follow the typical metalcore formula but the tweaks and adjustments they make to it really helps showcase their abilities and make it sound totally unlike what you would expect from a metalcore band. Another thing that I feel helps this record's case for being the band's best work is the fact that you can feel the energy on every track and it all flows really well. On previous releases, I felt that some albums didn't really feel like they flowed naturally, that the song order was off. On others, I felt like the band just kind of phoned in their performance on a couple of tracks. But on this album, it's 110% all the time from them and I think it really helps add to the overall feel of the record itself. With the release of "Shadows Inside", Miss May I have released an album a few years in the making and one that should definitely garner them the praise they should have gotten well before this.