Today, August 25th, scene veterans The Word Alive release the newest chapter of their long journey, Hard Reset. As part of this release, "One Of Us," featuring Noah Sebastian of Bad Omens, was also dropped. This track is a throwback to an older The Word Alive sound but misses the mark and lacks the direction and soul that made Deceiver and Life Cycles special.
This track is being marketed as a return to The Word Alive's roots, but instead sounds from the same vein of Monomania while pushing toward the "post-metalcore" Bad Omens sound. Vocalist Telle Smith has an incredible vocal performance, including a heavy breakdown. However, this falls into the same game that metalcore contemporaries play, forcing a breakdown somewhere in the song's final moments to appease fans of a heavier audience.
I am a massive fan of Noah Sebastian and his vocal talent. However, his feature on "One Of Us." is a missed opportunity. His performance is just kind of there, not adding anything to the track that Telle could not do. It feels more like an opportunity to put "Bad Omens" in the title and a chance to work with a friend than necessarily providing anything of value.
The vocal melodies and cadence are catchy and enjoyable. However, the song does not flow very well as a whole. It is clear that The Word Alive was going for a glitchy ambiance, but the instrumental tracks sound disconnected from the song's soul. Is it because they tried to bring back the Deceiver vibes for a song that sounds like something off Monomania or The Death of Peace of Mind? It sounds like they were stuck between two directions and tried to fit both, resulting in a heaviness that feels forced and unnatural.
Hard Reset and the surrounding tour is being portrayed as a celebration of The Word Alive's storied journey and a rebirth going forward. However, I do not hear anything new that they or their contemporaries had not been trying already. "One Of Us" does not sound like a celebration of their older sound, but instead a forced appeasement trying to appeal to old and new fans and missing the mark.
Listen to Hard Reset:
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