REVIEW: Put to Rest – La Vie en Rose [EP/2018]

Artist: Put to Rest 

Album: La Vie en Rose — EP 


Google searching La Vie en Rose will get you a lot of very different results. It may direct you to a popular lingerie site, the IMDb page for the 2007 movie of the same name, the hit songs by Louis Armstrong or Édith Piaf, or any number of motivational YouTube videos about how to “live la vie en rose.” 

But what does it mean? 

The French translation literally means life in pink, which is also pretty worthless without understanding its colloquialism. La Vie en Rose is to see every aspect of life through a pink-hued lens—whether that be love or nostalgia is truly up to you. It implies warmth, nostalgia and love—things that are lacking on the debut EP by midwestern metalcore outfit Put to Rest. While the outfit’s release is laden with emotion, very little of it is “warm,” and instead is scathing, infernal in its intense and immolating display of crushing aggression. Groovy, bouncy and blistering from start to finish, La Vie en Rose is  ruthless with a pretty name—something many listeners might be innately familiar with.  

Put to Rest are heavy in a way that defies an overt need for 300 beats-per-minute blast beats or pig squeals and slams. Instead, on La Vie en Rose, the band opt towards a low, groovy style of heavy, emotional metalcore with percussionist Cody Patton (of Sea of Treachery) forming the group’s foundation. Patton’s drumming isn’t particularly flashy or technically over-the-top—but it is very fluid and transitions with practiced expertise, allowing Put to Rest to move from earth-shattering breakdowns (on “Esther”) to quick grooves and riff-driven, faster-paced sections (“Casanova” shines here). While Patton’s punctual percussion is remarkable in its own right, it needs the thick coating from bassist Nick Ruholt to make it truly hit home. Serving as a firmament between Patton’s drumming and Ryne Pacheco’s guitar, Ruholt’s bass makes Put to Rest’s breakdowns and low grooves hit infinitely harder, giving a strong contrast between Patton’s sharp snare and bright cymbals against his thick kick drum and Ruholt’s thicker (thicc-er would also be fitting) bass. Where Ruholt and Patton are a strong low end and percussive backdrop respectively, Pacheco’s fretwork is sharp and ranges from slicing leads to blunt and gritty grooves. “Fairweather Friend,” “Esther” and the EP’s title track are three excellent examples of Pacheco’s talents, highlighting all of Put to Rest’s figurative “modes” with ease.  

Then, there are the vocals from frontman Billy Blanton—formerly of Manipulator and Apex from years past. Blanton’s vocal range is every bit as ferocious as those familiar with his previous efforts might recall; and if you aren’t familiar with them, then not only do you have homework to do, you’re in for a surprise when you do it. Blanton’s beefy voice is unrelenting, shining even alongside some strong guest appearances, easily oscillating between grisly bellows and raw, savage mid-range yells and the rare shrill scream. What’s more is that every track on La Vie en Rose sees Blanton getting very personal—with the title track and “Fairweather Friend” shining in this respect and “Witches Brew” being the more straightforward and widely relatable cut. Blanton’s return to form could not possibly be stronger than it is with Put to Rest—I don’t know of a higher praise, and those familiar with Apex especially will definitely understand that.  

La Vie en Rose is a very solid first outing—even while it’s a little brief and relatively carried by “Casanova,” “Esther” and “Fairweather Friend.” Put to Rest have just a little refining to do in terms of making their sound a little more diverse and engaging to those who lie on either end of the heavy music spectrum (novice and slamophiliacs respectively), but beyond that, little more could be asked from this crushing quartet.  



For Fans Of: Vehemian, The Earth Laid Bare, Extortionist, Manipulator, Reign 

By: Connor Welsh