Listening to metalcore can be a lot of fun with it’s fusion of hardcore metal and punk music but it’s also one that can also be a pain to hear. Memphis May Fire has put out the album Challenger that does what every metalcore band does, gives us a song with a lot of screaming, loud drums, and beats that are being played as fast as they possible can be. It’s because of this that metalcore can be fun to listen to or end up being annoying. Most of the time what it comes down to is figuring out what the meaning of the song is and then forming the opinion off that meaning because the sound of the songs are usually the same.
I would like to say that Challenger offers a different style in their songs from other metalcore bands but they really don’t. They’ve taken the format of doing the higher pitched screaming vocals for the verses while going into the lower, deeper pitches for the chorus. At times Matty Mullins will put in some vocals that are at normal levels instead of screaming, which when he does his vocals actually sound decent and I think he would make a pretty good punk rock singer, but it’s nothing new for this style of music. The only difference in Memphis May Fire’s song format was that Matty Mullins does a little more of the normal singing levels in the midst of all the screaming than some of the other metalcore bands.
As I listened to the Challenger though it felt like what all metalcore bands do, make their songs into some sort of angry declaration. What I got from the lyrics is that Matty Mullins is fed up with something and wants his life back and he’s very, very upset about it. The only aspect that I didn’t care for was how the drums are almost drowning out everything else in the songs. Even the vocals are at times fighting to be heard over the drums, the guitar is barely heard, and as far as the bass was concerned I don’t think I ever heard it, oh I know there’s one in there cause Cory Elder is listed as the member of the band who plays it, but I didn’t hear it. I’m even a drum person, I love the way a good drum set sounds, but it was almost like someone starting playing another song on a lower volume as I was trying to listen to a drum solo. Aside from the drowning sound of the drums, the album is full of intense energy filled songs that had me pumped up and ready to bounce off the walls. The vocals of Matty Mullins are strong and as much screaming as he does he was still able to do the lower volume notes in the songs and still sound good. I enjoyed Challenger, it won’t be an album I listen to while reading, but when I want a fast rise in energy this would do it.