There’s certain artists in music that tend to get a lot of flak and shade thrown their way and those who manage to brush it off as trivial show a level of perseverance many wish they had. Some of it is probably deserved, especially those that tend to hop from band to band as it ruins continuity and stability, sometimes leaving nothing but dust behind as a band can’t persevere through the lineup shifting. That said, some of it is also not deserved as the bigger the artist, the bigger the spotlight and what comes with that is natural disdain simply just because. Metalcore super group The Dead Rabbitts are one such group that have gotten their fair share of snide remarks from the internet, particularly due to the members in the band as well as their rather straight forward, typical metalcore sound. Brushing off the vocal minority, the group has continued down the path they set out on and are now back with their sophomore album This Emptiness.
The biggest fear when releasing a follow-up album to a rather successful one is that the band falls into a slump and can’t live up to the expectations. With This Emptiness, The Dead Rabbitts deliver something that is slightly stylistically different from what Shapeshifter delivered upon. Don’t take that to mean that this is a bad album, instead take it for face value and realize that the band have grown since that albums release. While this record does scratch the itch for a more typical metalcore sound, it also delves into some other areas of music that one wouldn’t be thinking of when giving these guys a listen. Take for example “The Butcher”, which opens up with an audio recording before exploding into a fury of soaring riffs and double bass followed up with deep growls. Surprisingly the song then takes a turn with an electronic, R&B stylized pre-chorus and bridge that make the song one of the more memorable ones. One can also take a look at “Adrenaline”, which once again opens up with a flurry of screams and fast paced instrumentals that then takes a turn musically towards alternative metal. It’s these subtle changes that cause the album to differentiate from its predecessor and whether that’s good or bad is really up to the listener.
Through and through, the album is littered with catchy choruses, some surprisingly crushing breakdowns and the expected frantic, high paced guitar work showing that The Dead Rabbitts still know how to make a worthwhile and fun listen. Instrumentally, the album is well composed and it becomes evident rather quickly that the strong guitar work is a major reason why. There are some really great leads and riffs coupled with the expected breakdowns and chugs which makes the guitars quite varied and steers the sound from falling into a repetitive loop. That’s not the only focal point though as lead vocalist and band founder Craig Mabbitt shows off he still has the vocal prowess he’s known for. Throughout the entirety of This Emptiness, Mabbitt transitions from beastly growls to soaring choruses without a hitch, but he also shows a different side to his vocal abilities as shown on “This Emptiness”, “The Butcher” and “Adrenaline”.
While in our eyes This Emptiness doesn’t deliver upon the expectations set forth by its predecessor, the album is still a success by every measure. Even though the album doesn’t set the world on fire and is a pretty standard affair, it does show growth in many areas over their debut by incorporating different aspects with a darker overall vibe. Furthermore, The Dead Rabbitts maintained their engaging and fun sound, giving fans who have patiently waited for almost 3 years’ new material to add to their libraries. Lastly, it should set aside any worries about the band merely being a side project as it’s obvious Mabbitt has a desire to maintain both groups as the band are now three releases deep into their careers and show no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
The Gist | Album Review: The Dead Rabbitts – This Emptiness
While in our eyes This Emptiness doesn’t deliver upon the expectations set forth by its predecessor, the album is still a success by every measure. Even though the album doesn’t set the world on fire and is a pretty standard affair, it does show growth in many areas over their debut by incorporating different aspects with a darker overall vibe.