Obey The Brave are back with their third album, Mad Season. The Canadian five piece became a staple in the metalcore/melodic hardcore scene with their debut album and the incredible Salvation. So this latest effort has a lot to prove to continue such a strong legacy and give fans another rip roaring album.
Mad Season starts off so strong. The opening track Thin Ice has the familiar chugging riffs, melodic choruses and massive breakdowns that have become a staple for the band. It is certainly one way to guarantee that listeners won’t switch off. The catchiness continues with the two previously released singles, Drama and On Our Own. The choruses and simple riffs really dig their way into your head. Burying their addictive nature deep into your brain. The breakdown on the titular track is a real body mover. That’s one thing Obey The Brave do spot on time and time again. Each breakdown hits hard and it is nigh on impossible not to feel those mosh pit urges course through your body.
The motivational lyrics feed into the ear catching traits that stem from Obey The Brave and all their previous material. It makes it incredibly easy to jump into each chorus and join the gang vocals. Clean vocals also feature more in Mad Season adding another layer of melody to the opening tracks. Their use here and later in the album are a great addition to the band’s sound and I hope they return for future Obey The Brave releases.
The band does it’s very best to keep things rooted but do mixes things up with the likes of 97 Again. The vocals take a more rap/hip-hop pattern, spitting nostalgia yearning lyrics over snapping nu-metal guitars. It is an interesting take on the band’s sound and was a real surprise. Songs like Low Key bring some serious hardcore into the album. Its short run time and harsh, aggressive nature brings the house down with shattering bridges and gang vocals. This is where my gripe with the album comes in. You’ll be head banging along, nodding your head to the melodies but you’ll start losing the fire that ignites the first 3/4s of the albums.
Each riff blurs into the next creating a muddied. Feed The Fire and The Distance don’t really grab your attention like the rest of the album does. Don’t worry though you’ll still get a strong urge to bob along to the bouncy riffs and drums, throw down to each breakdown. It just doesn’t warrant enough for several playthroughs. It’s as though the nostalgia goggles wear off towards the end and you’ll be left craving something more. At least the album finishes like it started with This Is It relighting that flare that sparked my love for the album.
Mad Season works well at continuing the Obey The Brave tale. The album is jam packed with the bands signature sound and breakdowns. The addition of more clean vocals is a nice touch giving those impressive melodies even more of an impact. However for every three memorable song there is a criminally forgettable one later on in the album.