After a year from on and off touring and going in and out of the studio, post-hardcore group Of Mice & Men have offered up the first single from the follow up to 2014's Restoring Force, 'Pain'. The song brings the band to a new type of metal they haven't truly treaded in before, distancing themselves from the scene hardcore and the more alternative metal sound of their last effort to an almost nu-metal sound with a modern flair.
The song begins with a frantic and effected guitar riff, before thick riffs kick in. As the riff becomes the focus of the track, vocalist Austin Carlile brutally screams to bring in the track. He mixes full on screams with dirtier growled vocals throughout the jarred choruses and verses. The instrumental doesn't really progress much past the main riff, percussionist Valentino Arteaga delivering a heavy drive complete with blast beats and double bass drum runs. Aaron Pauley's bassline imitates the heavy distortion of Phil Manansala's tuned-down riff. The bridge features a tense part with lo-fi military drums pounding as the guitars and vocals build back up to the song's heavy composition.
The music video of the track is as unsettling as that effected guitar riff. The main niche of the video is the glitchy of ballerinas doing what I can only hope is an interpretive dance, crawling tortured along an all white or black floor, their movements seeming possessed. Shot of the band performing are also dispersed throughout, though those shots kill the mood of the video. More glitchy shots of Austin Carlile are also used throughout the video, fitting in with the theme.
'Pain' feels contrived, though. The song feels just like it was taken out of the back catalogue of Slipknot. Perhaps they felt they needed to appease the crowds on the upcoming tour with Slipknot and Marilyn Manson? The song is nothing special, to be frank. The intro riff is great and had a lot of potential, but they just threw on a Slipknot riff and Austin Carlile's screaming and called it their own. It's not a bad song by any means, just... unoriginal. Another issue lies in the fact that the song pretty much sounds the same throughout its entirety. The whole intensity of the track is bargained on the riff and vocals... which sound exactly the same throughout the whole song.
If 'Pain' is to be an indicator for the rest of the album, Of Mice & Men may not have positivity heading their way. Restoring Force had a kind of poetry to it, the emotions of anger or want evident throughout every song. 'Pain' doesn't really feel like anything. The only emotion is in the title. There's nothing to it. Hopefully the album is better than this track.
Of Mice & Men's Cold World is out on Rise Records on September 9. More details are available here.
Rating: 50 / 100