Upon first glance, band members of The Word Alive have been said to resemble artists such as Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, The Almost and Alesana. Crank up their newest album however, and discover how different they really are. Surprisingly, “Deceiver” is The Word Alive’s first full-length album since being signed to Fearless Records. The fresh, ruthless album sounds like that of a seasoned, matured metal-hardcore band that shows no signs of slowing down or being anywhere but on top.
Pain, anguish, frustration and aggression gush through the speakers while fierce vocals, timely double bass hits and a nice balance of rifts and breakdowns confirm the passion behind the versatility showcased. The album is a very personal one, touching on issues such as abandonment, family, and the betrayal behind the makeup of the band. In last track on the album entitled “We Know Who You Are” lead vocalist Tyler “Telle” Smith belts, “This time your lies won't get you far, we know who you are.” Is this perhaps an indirect message to ex-lead vocalist, Craig Mabbit? Mabbit (also an ex member of Blessthefall) headed The Word Alive as a side project before being kicked out due to scheduling conflicts, frustrations and lack of commitment. Turmoil remains between Mabitt and The Word Alive, something that can be felt and heard throughout the entirety of “Deceiver”.
In the opposition, the old saying “success is the best revenge” can also be felt and heard on the album. One track that displays so prominently is a hard hitting, inspiring song titled, “Epiphany”. The song begins with a bang; a disgruntled scream, an incredible piece on the guitar and Telle jumping right into what he needs to say. In “Epiphany”, Telle sings of the trials, rises and falls, triumphs and failures of crashing in on the music scene as well as the pressures surrounding it. With lines such as, “Just let go. Your inner thoughts betray you. I need to just let go.” Telle admits to his fault of initially caring too much about those around him had to say. However, instead of letting the negative energy get in the way of any dream and ambition, it was turned into a positive only fueling the fire for the will to succeed.
This album comes full force, absolutely nothing held back. TWA’s 2009 EP, Empire, was only a sneak preview to the memorable and awe-inspiring “Deceiver”. With the re-release of “Battle Royale”, The Word Alive took one of their best songs and did the impossible; they made it better. “Deceiver” also steps up their game with features such as guest vocalist Dave Stephens of We Came As Romans, a song where all band members voices are heard, a few electronic twists, some slowing down and a bit of a speeding up.
“Deceiver” is an album of the ages that is sure to capture those that have been fans from the beginning and entice new listeners. Not only does it showcase each band members’ versatility and incredible talents but also, how well these talents fit together, how each member and instrument feeds off that of the others to create something wonderful. “Deceiver” is an album of blood, sweat, tears and triumph that is quickly launching The Word Alive to the next level of their career and very deservingly so.