Published Sep 19, 2019It's been a full decade since the Number Twelve Looks Like You released an album, and while most fans never expected them to come back, they've returned as if they never left. The band's fifth full-length, Wild Gods, captures everything you could want from an experimental metalcore band, and although it's arriving long after anyone expected it, is well worth the wait.
The album finds its footing in blending mathcore, smooth jazz lines and classic screamo, just like their older albums, but it comes across a tad more confident and mature this time around. The record is just as chaotic and flippant in how it changes moods as ever, but it all feels more thought out this time around. On songs like "Last Laughter" or "Raised and Erased," their progressive metalcore elements mesh with atmospheric melodies and overtly brutal riffs, and although the constant tempo and mood shifts are jarring, they're extremely calculated.
Beyond the typical instruments in a metal band, they also bring in loads of different sounds, from piano sections across the record to the electro-synths on "Ruin the Smile," and twinkling xylophones coupled with unnerving string sections on "Interspecies." These all add to the madness, but sometimes it does feel unnecessarily shoehorned in. As it goes with mathcore though, overindulgence leads to many spectacular moments.
The release couldn't have come at a better time, with fresh-faced newcomers to metal embracing the screamo-worshipping metalcore style all over again. In their ten-year absence, the Number Twelve Looks Like You's sound avoided feeling outdated entirely and vocalist Jesse Korman's shrill shrieks are invigorating and sharp.
On top of that, his melodic vocals soar during atmospheric sections such as "Ease My Siamese" or "Tombo's Wound." Ultimately, though, the band succeed the most when they strip everything back to their core, particularly on closing track "Rise Up Mountain," where there aren't really any frills masking their aggression.
While there are things to nitpick on Wild Gods, it's a fantastic record and easily beats out a lot of the progressive metal from the last few years. While it was indeed a necessary step for the members to take a break from the band, hearing the diversity of sounds and skills on the new record truly makes you question where they would have ended up if they had another decade of experience under their belt. (Overlord)