Though it’s unlikely that I’ll ever become a full-on proponent of metalcore, I have to admit that I kind of enjoy Phoenix-based outfit The Word Alive. I’ve long since forgiven them for butchering Kanye West’s “Heartless” on the 2010 “Punk Goes Pop 3” album and latest full-length “Real” shows that they are ahead of the curve when it comes to fusing metalcore and electronic dance music.
Dialing back the harsh vocals was a wise choice on this 12-track release. Utilizing the screams more sparingly gives songs like “Lighthouse” more power when they do pop up. That’s my favorite song on “Real,” but The Word Alive also impress on “Play the Victim,” “Broken Circuit,” “The Fortune Teller,” “The Runaway” and “To Struggle and Claw My Way.” Rock on, guys. (Jeffrey Sisk)