REVIEW: Move Like Attis – Unheard [EP/2014]


Artist: Move Like Attis

Album:  Unheard [EP]


With a great numbers of releases in practically any genre, bands and artists are tirelessly searching for ways to push the envelope. That is to say, they’re searching for things to combine and ways to write music that results in something that transcends being “fresh” or “cool,” but rather, has been never before heard. Leading this charge into previously undiscovered realms of crushing heaviness is Move Like Attis. These Pennsylvanian punishers boldly clash some of the most skin-shredding elements deathcore has to offer with soothing, entrancing post-hardcore and metallic melodies. By masterfully melting together the best that both genres have to offer, Move Like Attis ensure a listening experience that is truly Unheard of.

Unheard’s careful combination of musical influences begins on an instrumental level. At first, “Liberal Mouth” belts harsh, oppressive instrumentation that crushes the listener’s bones into thin, fine sand. Benjamin Beitler batters and bruises the listener with grinding, groovy drum patterns and positively puncturing fills—fills that cut through the track’s splashy cymbal work and explosive bass drops. Beitler’s percussive expertise continues on “The Face of Deception,” using lacerating blast beats as a brilliant means to incorporate slamming, sinister speed alongside his cornucopia of otherwise crushing metalcore instrumentation. While Beitler provides a constant source of frantic energy and ruthless fury, Ryan Boyle and Sean Hicks provide the variety that makes Move Like Attis shine brighter than their peers. Boyle’s brilliant fretwork ranges anywhere from ambient—like the opening to “Liberal Mouth” and the climactic portion of “Unheard”—to aggressive, like the jarring riffs and calf-shattering, earthquake-inducing chugs of “The Face of Deception.” Meanwhile, bassist Sean Hicks backs up Boyle’s furiously fretted riffs and chugs to provide a meaty, blood-red low end that drowns every moment of down-tuned anger and hatred in a thick, toxic glaze. What’s more; while Hicks’ bass work provides an added layer of thickness to Unheard’s heaviest portions, it serves to anchor the act’s more atmospheric elements as well, keeping “Unheard” from drifting into a over-the-top, over-ethereal conclusion to an otherwise bombastic EP.

Move Like Attis don’t stop their one-band variety show with their instrumental prowess. While Beitler beats the listener into submission and Boyle shreds their skin into oblivion, vocalist Tyler Beam reigns as the band’s figurative king, attacking the listener with every manner of scream, shout, bellow and shriek imaginable. Not just are his screams at the top of the genre’s spectrum of skill and fervor, but Unheard is also home to a beautiful array of cleanly sung vocals that wonderfully compliment the harsh, degrading screams. Even “The Face of Deception,” featuring legendary Nick Arthur (of Molotov Solution, if you live under a rock) is home to sparse singing that contrasts in a manner that isn’t simply tasteful, but rather, is poetic. “Liberal Mouth” functions in the same way—including a catchy, crooned chorus to relieve the pressure built up by the dense, massive harsh vocals that weigh down on the listener like a yoke. Beam’s brilliance doesn’t end there, however. “Unheard” is home to a half-talk, half-shout that wouldn’t feel out of place on a Being as an Ocean track—yet fits the fluid, calm manner that defines the track’s (and perhaps album’s) climax.

From billowing, booming bass blasts to clean, crooned choruses, Move Like Attis span over several genres in just five short tracks. The result? A dynamic EP that feels neither rushed nor unoriginal. True—while “Abrogate” lacks the flair that “Liberal Mouth” and “One Nation” wear on their sleeves, even this track is exemplary, combining metallic riffing with blitzing, brutalizing speed. Rather than forced or contrived, Unheard is original and immersive, using jarring heaviness to keep the listener’s head banging to its snapping point, and Beam’s beautiful vocals to heal them after they’ve been twisted, torn and tossed away by the band’s cruel, crushing musicianship. While Unheard is definitely not this year’s heaviest release, nor is it this years catchiest or most technical, instead, Move Like Attis opt to adhere themselves to the time-tested adage, crowning themselves as jacks of all trades, from contagiously catchy to crushing.

If you truly take the time to open your ears and your mind to the music Move Like Attis present, you will find something truly Unheard: a band passionate and prodigal at combining influences from a variety of genres, creating an immersive and awe-inspiring experience the listener won’t be able to get Unheard.



For Fans Of: As Artifacts, Beacons, Memphis May Fire, Adestria

By: Connor Welsh