Catchy, hard hitting and adrenaline pumping are just a few ways to describe the latest release by From Under The Willow. The sophomore release, titled — Ungrateful • Misguided — is an album that undoubtedly will catch people by surprise and bring a relatively unknown to the forefront of a scene in need of some new blood. Although their debut album — Outlaws — was a great release in itself, the boys from Pennsylvania have really stepped up their game this time around.
One of the greatest things that Ungrateful • Misguided does is take me back to the first time I started listening to the Metalcore genre. Their sophomore album brings back the excitement that remind me of bands such as Killswitch Engage, As I Lay Dying, and even earlier Atreyu. Do not mistake that for me directly comparing From Under The Willow to any of those bands, because I’m not. It simply gives me that fresh excitement that I haven’t heard or enjoyed from a pretty saturated genre in this day and age. With Metalcore becoming more and more convoluted these days, I feel some people aren’t sure of the true definition of the aforementioned genre as is.
“It provides renewed excitement and enjoyment for a band that’s in a very saturated genre”
The album as a whole has a much more refined sound. The mic man (Wes Good), has such a powerful scream that at times it feels like it’s just waiting to blast out of his throat like a bat outta hell and then the cleans come in swooning and soaring to such incredible heights, you can’t help but feel the emotion oozing out of your speakers. The axe men of the group (Nick Perry & Caleb Leaman) can come at you one second with an onslaught of heaviness that blasts your ears to the point they feel as if they’re going to bleed (in a good way of course…), or they can slow things down with a melodic groove that just soothes your rock n’roll soul. The bass (plucked by Jeremy Hoover) adds a perfect amount of muscle and edge which may not always be heard on the forefront, but never does it get lost in a musical abyss. Finally the spine of the band, the drums (slammed and tapped by Caleb Canterberry) add such a blast and rhythm that deliciously accentuates every high and low point of each song.
Ungrateful • Misguided gave me moments where I was headbanging and rocking out so feverishly and furiously I would have been OK with smashing it through glass then eating the shards as a treat. On the flip side, it contains elements that brought me back down to Earth and forced me to reflect on myself and certain life choices I had made. This is what I feel any Metalcore album should provide to anyone who is willing to listen. With that note, I suggest others do the same as I did with this album. Put on the headphones, crank the volume to 11 and enjoy this musical journey. Listen. You won’t be disappointed.