Album Review: letlive – The Blackest Beautiful

By on June 21, 2013

PromoImagellReleased: July 9, 2013

Label: Epitaph

HHM Rating:

[xrr rating=4.5/5]

“I’ll die with a smile, so my widow gets jealous,” Jason Butler verbally stings over the gun-slinging (vaguely southwestern) thrash of “Dreamer’s Disease.” There is no shortage of revamped post-hardcore in this decade, but the genre’s (now vacant) leadership may have just found a frontrunner. The Blackest Beautiful is letlive’s dynamic manifesto of rebellion and exotic composition. The sound is jagged, commanding and leather-tough—torpedoing the standard set by their previous (and critically acclaimed) release, Fake History—turning a lyrical flame into a Colorado forest fire; genre-bending enough to blow the prefix “post” sky-high.

The band play sonic contrast like a puppet master of your psyche: the ratchet hardcore of “Empty Elvis” is (briefly) bridged with soft, ambient crooning—before reigniting back into full chaos, with a terrorizing shriek from Butler. “White America’s Beautiful Black Market” transitions from a chorus decorated in emotive overtones, to call-for-action, political shouts—seething with rage and building up to vocal assault, likes of “We get sick, so we can feel better/They keep us sick/They keep us sick!/They Keep us sick!” After one listen to TBB, it becomes pretty clear what Underøath were trying to show us on their way out. @MattCrane

The Blackest Beautiful is available for pre-order today.