Album: I Will Become
Release Date: April 29th, 2016
Genre: Metalcore/ Post-Hardcore
When unbridled honesty, evocative lyrics, and absolutely punishing metalcore collide, what is powerfully formed in this fray is undoubtedly the sound of Ohio-based Convictions in their newest full-length “I Will Become”. Pain-staking, bitter, and utterly distraught emotions radiate from nearly every second of the 43-minute run, yet they are far more relatable than the average, run-of-the-mill, “I’m pissed at the world” metal album. With this latest entry into their discography, Convictions takes the listener on a dark and truly challenging journey from the outpouring of their hearts, guiding the listener along through the depths of their struggles to a delightfully heavy soundtrack.
“Aggressive worship; emotion captured in nose”; this how Convictions describes their sound and “I Will Become” epitomizes this definition more than any of their prior releases. Stylistically, it is a bit slower, at least in terms of tempo, but this doesn’t hamper this effort’s self-proclaimed aggressive edge at all. In fact, keying back the speed slightly gives the dynamics between the numerous, beautiful ambient guitar interludes and the bone-crushing breakdowns a much-needed forceful impact; akin to being punched in the face in such a way that a metalhead grins and comes back for more. This stark contrast between light and heavy seems to be a recurring theme in the many metal releases of 2016, but thus far, “I Will Become” is the most successful iteration of this concept to date. Admittedly, some of the sections that connect these intense moments together is arguably standard metalcore thoroughfare nowadays; driving, yet predictable drums and some chuggy guitar-work. This is a minor criticism, however, and is not present or repetitive enough to off-put the listener.
The vocals, both clean and screamed, are another standout point in favor of “I Will Become”. Vocalist Micheal Felker’s exhibits quite a capable range, from higher-pitched yells to exceptionally brutal low roars. Remember the aforementioned punch to the face? These bellows and roars are like the brass knuckles lining the fist that adds weight and even more momentum to the musical uppercuts that are guaranteed to knock the unaware listener flat onto the ground. The mid-range vocals, which seem to be his go-to standard for most of the record, carry the ongoing emotional strife well, pairing nicely with the clean, post-hardcore inspired, vocals of bass guitarist John Fleischmann (and once more, I’m pleased to report clean vocals on a metal album that don’t peak into the dreaded ‘whiny’ territory).
Lyrically, “I Will Become” may polarize some listeners. Convictions is unashamedly a Christian band, and this is evident in the lyrical themes, so some may be turned off by this. However, I would encourage those would fall in such a camp to give this record a fair go before dismissing it. I feel that although references to the band’s faith are unquestionable, the lyrics are generally accessible for nearly any listener. Thematically, the musical contrasts somewhat spill over into the lyrics, often highlighting the darkened, depraved state of the narrator against the standard of what he should be or will become, as the title goes.
“I Will Become” is set to release on April 29th through Invogue Records, and the contemporary metalcore fan would be doing him/herself a disservice by not at least checking out this release. Fiery and tangible emotions coalesce with both relentlessly heavy “core” elements and beautiful ambiance of light guitars to create music that will grab the listener’s attention and hold it captive until the very last note fades. These moments are only accentuated by the ferocious vocals that incite the listener to flip some tables and throw down, and then give them a reflective pause to absorb the musical and lyrical themes. Convictions has always shown great potential in the scene, and “I Will Become” is the irrefutable evidence of the band’s hard work and talent coming to fruition in the form of a fantastic metal album.
by Chad Brown
Check out the music video for “Brother’s Blood” below: