I scream, you scream… Of Mice and Men scream? By dropping their new album, “Defy,” at the end of January, the members of Of Mice and Men demonstrate what their voices are really capable of. Bassist Aaron Pauley steps up to the mic in place of former lead singer, Austin Carlile, who left the band because he is currently battling Marfan syndrome.
The first song of this new album, fittingly named “Defy,” opens up with guitar chords that set a quick pace for the rest of the song. After a brief pause, in which I checked Spotify to see if it was buffering again, Pauley’s throaty scream filled the air. His passion to defy things such as “this hopelessness” and “your callousness” along with refusing “to march into an early grave” is heard over the pounding drums and fiery guitar strums. As the first verse melts into the chorus, listeners are briefly exposed to the kinder voice of Pauley, who pleasantly substitutes singing for screaming. A gruff growl that turns into a full-on shout signaled the end of the chorus, and honestly, it was a bit frightening.
From there, the band repeats their method of viciously playing their instruments while Pauley pours his heart out into the mic through a fierce mixture of singing and screaming for 10 out of the 12 songs on their new album.
If you’re a fan of heavy metal screamo, I highly recommend this album. However, if you fall into the other 98 percent of us who are not, do not subject your ears to this kind of pain. My throat can’t help but hurt every time I think of this aggressive band’s music.