Who are you? I mean the real you. Are you the same person lying in bed as you are when you step in front of the mirror each morning? Once you pull the items you’ve chosen from your closet for your daily wear, do you transform into someone else once they’re put on? Once you feel that cool breeze touch your face after you’ve left your front door, who are you? A lot of questions I know. But they all culminate to one final point; The disguises we wear when we face the world will help to dictate what our life becomes. So many of us feel we must be someone or something else in our day to day lives to make others think we’re something that in actuality we are not. This disguise or persona we create can slowly start to take over though, and we begin to lose who we truly are. This can take an immense toll though on our hearts and minds and eventually this could ruin us. This is the overlying theme of Motionless In White’s latest offering, Disguise. On this album, the group chose to take a truly in-depth, introspective look into who they legitimately are behind the disguises they’ve created for themselves. And as lead vocalist Chris Motionless admits, this was no easy task. Through tumultuous times and the grave need for a helping hand, the efforts resulted in an album which will help all the rest of us do exactly the same.
In the opening title track, and one of the initial singles Chris Motionless speaks to the fact of realizing this self-proclaimed disguise he had invented for himself and presents us with the (lack of a better way of putting it) solution to this epic quandary; hit rock bottom. Sometimes to win such an intense inner battle who must climb our way out from our self-made Hell. Now this isn’t to say this is the path that all else should take, but for some this may be the very way in which they’re able to find themselves once again. You must, metaphorically speaking, look your disguise right in the face and confront the demons that created it. Creepy and ominous keyboards begin the song (such is a Motionless In White tried, tested, and true stylistic choice of intro’s with their music throughout the years), which leads to Chris Motionless’ blistering scream ‘GET UP! GET UP!’. I assure you, if you haven’t for whatever reason heard this song, getting up is exactly what you’ll do. The song kicks in hard and swift with MIW’s signature blistering sound. The verses are riddled with an almost industrial bounce and showcases Chris swaying from a softer delivery to a more up-tempo, harsher style. Sonically the sound perfectly exemplifies what one would think the mind is doing fighting itself to separate its disguise from its true form. I like so many others growing up fought with my own deeper questions of who I was, and assuredly at times I put on a persona to become what I believed others wanted me to be. I can attest to the fact that this was slowly breaking me down and resulting in what one could only call a state of depression. It was when I finally decided that I would only be true to others by being true to myself that I finally snapped out of that silly notion I had lived for so long. This track will continue to be a reminder of how valid that is.
Just because you have finally figured out that you’ve created a disguise to mask your true self from the world, does not mean you’ve won the war. It’s merely the beginning of the battle you now must face. Once you have come to the realization that you have put up this complex facade, you now must wage a war to separate the truth from the false and become the real you. This in its own right will be no easy task and you will have fight tooth and nail to come out on top. It will take a toll and may leave you weakened, but in the end, you’ll be that much better for it. It’s those inner demons though that will have dug their claws deep into your self-conscious that will be the most difficult to defeat. Sometimes we must do some awful things in this disguise we’ve created, and it is those things that will be the most treacherous to your well-being to overcome. The song “Headache” speaks to this exact sentiment. The song begins with an almost Tool-esque sounding bassline which in itself perfectly illustrates this battle of the mind. ‘Some days I feel addictive, some days I feel alone. Some days I feel the worst in me is the best you’ll ever know. Some days I feel the static with every word, I know. Some days I feel like I just want to slit a motherfucker’s throat.’ Just a small sample of what Chris himself was facing within himself. This is a perfect example of what so many must face within themselves when being so unsure of who and what they are. Each verse leads into a bone-rattling bridge where Chris just screams ‘SHUTUP’ over and over, and you just know he’s only saying it to the voices in his head. The central bridge of the track which leads to the breakdown though is the main focus of what you hope the outcome of said battle to be; that you’re going to be just fine. The ferocity and vehemence of the breakdown seems to resemble that assault and the hopeful resulting bloodshed which could only mean a win.
Like in any so-called fight in life, there will always be tools and aids which we can use to give ourselves an advantage. Even when that enemy is only ourselves. This could be anything from an individual such as a loved one, we could find ourselves through a sense of direction in our career, some release anger through an intense workout at the gym, and some find solace in unified front. To join forces with a multitude of others that are facing the same woes and torments as yourself. And what better way to find this outreach than through music. Regardless of what your favorite genre is I bet you know the words to “Come Together”, or “Lean On Me”. It is in this vein that I believe the track “</c0de>” was created. A song in which the masses could all sing together in unison, so that when this moment occurs no one feels alone in their battles. That’s at least what this listener took from the lyrics. When I closed my eyes and sung along with the chorus, I couldn’t help but picture thousands of others standing beside me, singing the words as one. When Chris Motionless screams/sings ‘Let’s get this fire started’, one could not help but feel the adrenaline and unity set forth. ‘Of one mind. Of one soul. We unite to write the code’. One could only assume the “code” is the algorithm which is metaphorically written to come together and help one another to heal. The song delivers a healthy mix of heavier tones perfectly paired with more melodic transmissions that will have the crowd not only singing together but jumping together as well.
Fear not metalheads and moshers for Motionless In White has not left you behind. In this crusade to dissolve yourself of the entity which you truly are not, you will face those who have their own set of ideas of what makes you tick and who they think you should be. “Thoughts & Prayers” shall be your anthem shall be your weapon in destroying the droves on the false. Based on the sheer ballistic nature of this track alone you will want to tear off not only this mask you have worn, but any of those who stand in your way of the process. The first time I heard this song I was driving in my car. It admittedly is not what one would call a sports car, but I assure you once this song kicked into overdrive so did I and my sedan quickly became a Lambo. To call this song heavy would be putting it way too…well…lightly. While not insanely technical, the guitar and bass work are anything but simple. And during the intro riffing, when that double-bass kicks in your head will bang right off your shoulders. Throughout Motionless In White’s career, Chris has shown the world that aside from having astounding cleans, he is no stranger nor is he afraid to pushing his screams past any and all boundaries. This song is no different in that regard. From guttural lows to the most heightened pitches of screams, he will literally blow the listeners away with what he is capable of. The song is brutally heavy yet lacks no sense of melody. Careful when playing this song in your home. There will be little bricks left afterwards. And any disguise you once may have worn shall be utterly obliterated.
It’s safe to say that most people in their lifetime have or will wear some sort of a disguise. Admittedly being someone in the public eye may be forced a bit more than most of us day to day folk will, but that isn’t to say we won’t face our own battles in figuring out who we truly are. These so called disguises at times can be subtle though. It doesn’t have to be in something as major as our careers or in what we do to accomplish any major goal in life. It can even simply be when we’re with those whom we’d think to even call our friends. But it is up to us to figure out these moments and then what we must do to fight past these notions and become who we are. Sometimes the hardest thing to do in life is to stay true to ourselves for fear that others won’t accept us. This is the most ultimate falsehood. If others can’t accept you for who you are then I cannot stress this enough; FUCK THEM (to put it bluntly, and yes slightly cliched). If we continue to be anyone but ourselves then it will ultimately destroy all of who we are, both good and bad. Motionless In White have shown us with Disguise that they themselves have had to face these demons, and thankfully although that fight is never done, they have come out on top and given us the tool we need to face our own war of self. The group was stated as saying this album sonically is a culmination of everything the fans have loved about MIW over the years and on this they have more than delivered. They have everything from the heavy-hitting metal tracks, to the industrial elements they have always incorporated on some level, to tracks that almost resemble more of a hard rock sound. They have truly left no fan behind in sound, nor with the notion that they could ever be alone when having to figure out how to win over their own disguise.