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Deathcore Yüth Forever Skeleton Youth Forever
Album, Released date : 03 June 2016 - Prosthetic Records
Style: Deathcore

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Tracklist
1. Suicidal Pistol Grip Pump
2. People Pleaser
3. SYF
4. Love
5. Bitterromantic Pt. 3
6. Do You?
7. Growing Pains
8. Warmth
9. Inseperable
10. The Song I Wrote for You
11. Innocence
12. Villains
13. Forever

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Review
    VesselsOfBlood, Monday 26 September 2016 Talk to your friends  
Twisted-Core

Yüth Forever formed in 2009 in Oswego, Chicago, starting off under the moniker Villains. They released two full-length albums, “10 Code” in 2010 and then “Freudian Slip” in 2014, before changing their name and signing to Prosthetic Records (Trap Them, Last Chance To Reason, InAeona). They would then go on to release their third full-length album in the summer of 2016 called “Skeleton Youth Forever.”

I discovered Yüth Forever years ago, back when they had just released “10 Code” under the name Villains. They immediately caught my interest after I stumbled across their song “Directions to Servants,” thanks to its distinct, distorted hardcore sound. In hindsight, while “10 Code” and “Freudian Slip” aren’t exactly fantastic, they are very solid records that showcase a lot of the band’s potential. Said potential would be fully realized with their newest effort “Skeleton Youth Forever,” an album that demonstrates the band’s energetic sound and complex writing at their best to date.

The first thing that struck me while listening to it is that the band seems to be taking on a much groovier sound than before. This is a great direction for them to head towards, as the music can hold onto its dark, dissonant atmosphere and tone while being energizing at the same time. A great example of this would have to be one of the first songs off the album, “People Pleaser,” which boasts these funk-like grooves combined with distorted guitar-play and lyrics dripping with anger and insecurity (A point I’ll get back to later in this review).

“Bitterromantic Pt. 3” is another example showing off this dynamic. This is definitely one of the most flowing songs out of the whole album, transitioning between grooves and dark, low-tuned riffs remarkably smoothly. In fact, in an interview with Chugcore Promotions*, vocalist Devin MacGillivray stated that “Bitterromantic Pt. 3” was one of his favorite ones to write because of how well it flows both musically and lyrically, and it definitely shows; the song is very impressive, both energetically and technically. Instances like this show off a dynamic between grim and exhilarating that plays an extremely crucial part in making “Skeleton Youth Forever” so entertaining.

Another important element that makes the album so great is the instrumentation. The guitar and drum-play are remarkably complex and well-performed, and have really come a long way since the release of “10 Code” about half a decade ago. At the same time, however, they don’t fall into the common trap where it feels as if the musicians are just showing off; they’re integrated into the album very nicely, dishing out the raw emotion and energy that they're meant to bring. Well-written and executed, the instrumental prowess in “Skeleton Youth Forever” does not disappoint.

If I had to pick out one significant “problem” with this album, however, it would be the vocals. Granted, Devin’s screamed vocals do deliver in the energy department just fine, and there's nothing inherently bad about them, but they’re also a bit too monotonous. Considering how incredibly dynamic, explosive, and versatile the instrumental performances are in this album, they do come off as a little underwhelming. They consist purely of mid-pitch screams and yells, and after a while, their novelty does start to wear a tad thin. Again, not that there’s anything particularly wrong with how they’re delivered, but some more variety would have added a little more intrigue.

That isn’t to say there is no abundance of intrigue in this album’s sound, mind you. “Skeleton Youth Forever” proves otherwise, with lots of great atmosphere and writing emanating throughout the record’s running time. Going back to the dynamic between dark and vigorous, A few other examples I haven’t mentioned yet are “Growing Pains” and “Villains,” the last one being an obvious callback to the band’s previous moniker. The former is one of my personal favorites off the whole record, with the creepy groove about a minute into the song latching onto the brain like glue thanks to the vocals, rhythm, and instrumental layering.

Not only that, but the music also gives off a very engaging and rather haunting atmosphere. More than ever, the musicianship, sound mixing, and post-production effects all have their hand in creating this eerie and somewhat industrial ambiance; this album almost feels like a soundtrack to some violence-ridden city slums. This is brought on by tidbits such as the guitar distortion and the electronic sounds and effects (i.e. The guitar/electronic stuttering in tracks such as “Bitterromantic Pt. 3” and “Inseparable”), which really help in pulling the audience into its rather unsettling ambiance. This even applies to the album’s interludes (i.e. “Do You?” and “Innocence”), showing how much attention to detail the band has put into pretty much every crevice of this record.

Skeleton Youth Forever’s” lyrics also hold their weight rather well. Just like with the band’s previous records, they focus strongly on themes of hatred and social anxiety. For the former, “Growing Pains” digs into family troubles, with the song ending with the chilling line: “Don’t think about me too much; After all, I’m only your son.” As for the latter, tracks such as “People Pleaser,” “Inseparable” (Which might as well be called “Stockholm Syndrome: the Song”), and “S.Y.F.” dwell on topics such as loneliness, love, insecurity, and addiction. They’re basically what you’d expect from an angry, dissonant hardcore album, but they still work, especially with such energetic vocals screaming them out loud.

As good as Yüth Forever's older works are, they've always felt like they were missing some of the punch to make a serious impact; there was something there, but it just wasn’t completely brought into the light yet. This has changed thanks to “Skeleton Youth Forever,” with its powerful musicianship and tight song-writing launching it to its position as one of the better albums to be birthed this year. Heavy, complex, and oozing with angst, this record is not one that should be brushed off from the get-go. It might not be for everyone due to its noisy and off-beat nature, but “Skeleton Youth Forever” is very much worth checking out.

*Interview with Devin MacGillivray, courtesy of Chugcore Promotions (Quote about “Bitterromantic Pt. 3” is at 03:56): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oGcrcUvuaY


Originally posted on: http://metaljerky.blogspot.com/




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