In 2012 Of Mice & Men released their most monstrous and accomplished material, but it wasn’t a new album, or an ep. It was in fact the four bonus tracks released with the deluxe edition of 2011’s The Flood. No, seriously, go listen to those tracks. They’re heavier, angrier, and more innovative than the actual album. They truly stepped up their game for those bonus tracks and delivered something that genuinely sounded new and exciting in a world of mind numbingly dull metalcore. Well the good news is they’ve done it again.

The bad news is that only half of their new album Restoring Force is actually interesting. The heavier songs are wicked. ‘Public Service Announcement’ is an astounding opener with brutally honest lyrics and vicious vocal work from Austin Charlie. ‘Bones Exposed’ is an absolute banger straight from the killer starting riff. ‘You Make Me Sick’ is essentially what it would sound like if a modern metalcore band covered Slipknot, and that’s not a bad thing, no pun intended but it’s freaking sick.

As good as those tracks are, Restoring Force is let down on the more melodic side. Songs like ‘Would You Still Be There’, ‘Another You’, and single ‘You’re Not Alone’ just aren’t stimulating enough to hold up to the rest of the album. Whilst the stronger tracks sound like a new and exciting Of Mice & Men, the melodic songs just sound like another dull American metalcore band and they feel like filler.

When you put the weaker tracks aside and just focus on the bangers it is the most accomplished Of Mice & Men have sounded so far. They’ve finally made the jump from metalcore newbies to one of the most capable modern metal bands out there. If Of Mice & Men develop just a tad more and loose the filler, they could become one of the biggest heavy bands in the world.

Jack King

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