Chicago-based metalcore quartet Sworn In are back with the follow-up to their 2013 debut The Death Card and are heading down the route of a concept album (albeit in the loosest sense of the definition). Based on themes of destructive relationships, The Lovers/The Devil is a tough album to listen to for many reasons but one that, from picking apart frontman Tyler Dennan’s lyrics, is clearly a very personal one.

The main problem I have, and obviously this is down to personal taste, is that The Lovers/The Devil isn’t a very hooky metalcore release. It doesn’t have those songs that make you want to sing to the heavens, it doesn’t have anthems. In fact, the first time I gave this album a spin, it passed by in a blur with very little of the material sticking in my head. On subsequent listens though, and as you delve into the likes of “Lay With Me”, it becomes painfully clear how little of The Lovers/The Devil would actually work if it was written to fit in with the rest of the “commercial” metalcore scene.

Let’s make no bones about it, The Lovers/The Devil is a fucking dark record. From the lyrical content of tracks like “Scissors” to the jagged, spitting guitar work to the atmospheric undertones woven into this metallic onslaught, everything about this record gears it towards that audience who don’t want to sing along to their favourite radio metalcore anthem; this is for those of you who want to scream until their throats bleed.

With so much anger being unleashed on The Lover/The Devil it makes listening to the end result quite an arduous task. Clearly an emotional record, it’s sadly also one that will probably only sit comfortably with that percentage of the metalcore audience who can really relate to the “concept” of this album and would much prefer to let off steam to something like this than they would sitting in some doctors room “getting things off their chest”.

Track Listing:

01. Sweetheart
02. Sugar Lips
03. I Don’t Really Love You
04. Oliolioxinfree
05. Waltz
06. Pins and Needles
07. Lay With Me
08. Weeping Willow
09. Pocket Full Of Posies
10. Sunshine
11. Scissors
12. Sour
13. Love Drunk

Run Time: 42:47
Release Date: May 4, 2015

Check out the video for “Scissors” here.

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.