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Currently amidst headlining main stage of the mighty Vans Warped Tour, Southern California’s Of Mice & Men are going from strength to strength this year and we’re not even two thirds of the way through it. After facing the sad departure of bassist/vocalist Shaley Bourget in February the remaining four members held themselves together and are becoming one of the biggest talents to grace the metalcore scene. The two disk Deluxe Re-Issue of their overwhelming release ‘The Flood’ treats fans to four brand new tracks on the first disk and the original record on the second disk.
Describe the four new tracks in one word? HUGE. Place emphasis on the capitals too. Following a logical pattern in track names: ‘The Calm’; ‘The Storm’; ‘The Flood’; ‘The Depths’; Of Mice & Men take the listener on a mind blowing journey with their musical talents, exploring the realms of metalcore and producing some of the finest sounds to come out of 2012 so far.
Introducing the brand new material is instrumental ‘The Calm’ which as the title suggests shows the peaceful side ofOf Mice & Men’s musical abilities, straying away from their grittier metalcore sounds. Nonetheless, their talents shine just as much in this opening as they do in their more recognised heavier tracks showing the diverse skill of the quartet.
Leading straight into second track ‘The Storm’ welcomes the vocals of Austin Carlile, continuing with the melodic guitars from the previous track. The brewing of ‘the storm’ is soon waved goodbye to, removing the tranquillity and replacing it with the rapid riffs that Of Mice & Men consistently smash to perfection. This is continued with ‘The Flood’, yet another killer track from the quartet.
Final track ‘The Depths’ has been streaming online for just over a month receiving an astounding response. No wonder: its introduction’s build up kicks into riffs and roars galore, producing a forceful sound that would create an intense hype in any live atmosphere.
The original release behind the Deluxe Re-Issue is not to be forgotten with ‘The Flood’ being one of the best metalcore albums to be released in 2011. Austin Carlile’s distinct roars combined with the exceptional efforts from other band members make ‘The Flood’ such an individual record.
If Of Mice & Men can release four jaw dropping new tracks to add to an already outstanding album then I wait in eager anticipation for the next full length release. ‘The Flood Deluxe Re-Issue’ is a true masterpiece by the Californian quartet. Next stop: World Domination.
'The Flood (Deluxe Reissue)' by Of Mice & Men is available now on Rise Records.
Words by Hannah Gillicker