“Disease” by Beartooth (Album Review)

Logan Fortner, Reporter

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American hardcore punk band Beartooth has finally released their new album “Disease.” This is the follow up to their 2016 release “Aggressive” and while I personally enjoyed the album, it was not very well received by other listeners. Their debut album “Disgusting” did extremely well and some people thought that they’d never make an album better than that. While that may be the case, Disease has definitely exceeded expectations and is one of my favorite albums of 2018.

When it comes to the overall sound of this album, the only way I can describe it is “Beartooth.” There really aren’t many bands that I’ve heard that I can say sound just like them as they have this unique sound to them that I hadn’t heard anywhere before I started listening to them back in 2015. If I were to categorize them into a genre, I’d have to say that they are a mix of metal-core and hardcore punk.

An area where this album’s quality does sink a little bit is a pattern that a lot of songs fall victim to and that is the overall structure of some of these songs. They usually start off with an intro, which transitions into the first verse, then a pre-chorus, the chorus, the second verse, the chorus again, a breakdown, and usually ends with the chorus for a final time. While this doesn’t bother me as much, someone who is fairly nit picky might have more of an issue with this. When it comes to the lyrical content, there are a few songs like “You Never Know” or “Fire” where the lyrics just seem kind of generic. However, on songs like “Disease” and “Believe” I feel as though the lyrics feel a lot more meaningful than others. Some of the instrumentals on this album are great, this is especially shown on “Enemy” as some of the guitar rifts (Especially during the breakdown) almost remind me of Metallica and many other heavy metal bands.

The album opens with the track “Greatness or Death” and while at first it starts off with a very soft and acoustic sound, it very quickly switches to the Beartooth that we all know and love. This song is very hard hitting and fairly quickly gives you an idea of what exactly you’ve gotten yourself into.

The next song “Disease” was one of the lead singles that came from this album and it very quickly became a fan favorite for all Beartooth fans and in my opinion, this song has the potential to top most of their previous songs. It has a very catchy chorus that gets stuck in your head especially after a few listens and the overall vocals on it sound great. While I do have to admit the song “Fire” has been growing on me, at first listen I did find this song to be fairly generic as I feel like I’ve heard the same message many times before.

“You Never Know” is more than likely what I’d consider to be my least favorite song on this album. I don’t necessarily dislike any songs on this album, but this is a song that I will say does get skipped at times.

The second single released “Bad Listener” is one that I’m currently on the fence with. I absolutely love the build up to the chorus, there’s this raspiness in the lead singer’s voice that just gets my adrenaline going but then the chorus hits. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll happily bang my head to it, but it’s the lyrics that I’m not a huge fan of.

Then there is “Afterall” and again while I do enjoy the song itself, the message is generic as it just talks about being “human afterall”.

“Manipulation” is another song that feels very played out and as if I’ve heard the same message time and time again from other artists.

“Enemy” is a pretty big turning point for sure in just the instrumentals as it gives a feeling of old school metal at certain points. Even the verses have this aggressiveness about them that I really can’t get enough of. I feel as though this song also has the best breakdown out of all of the songs on this album.

The next track “Believe” goes in the opposite direction of the last track as while the last song was a lot heavier this song is a bit softer. This is another song that I have to say has a very catchy chorus and has quickly become another one of my favorites.

“Infection” was technically the first song from this album that was “leaked” right before they played the final Vans Warped Tour during the summer. I instantly loved this song and it may have to do with the fact that I’ve been waiting for new Beartooth music for a long time but there was something about this song that just caught my attention on first listen that had me hooked.

“Used and Abused” is another song that somewhat reminds me of old school metal with some of its instrumentals and lyrics. This song wasn’t necessarily one of my favorites off of this album but it is definitely a song I will be coming back to.

The final track “Clever” is a perfect closer, you can really hear and feel the emotion in the singer’s voice throughout the entire song. The guitars that play in the outro of this song almost seem to give a sense of clarity and this is one of the factors that make me think there is no other song that should have closed this album out. Something that I can happily say is that if there is one thing this album does not lack in, it’s that just about every song has a very catchy, and at times, hard hitting chorus.

This was a very good album. Do I think it could have been better? Of course, but I feel that there is room for improvement with everything we do. I have been listening to this album nonstop since its release and while it does have its flaws, I will say that this has been one of my favorite albums released all year. Whether you listen to heavy music or not, I would still suggest that you check this album out. I look forward to continuing to listen to Beartooth so that I can see just how they end up in the future.

“Disease” – Red Bull Records – Release: 9/28/18

Rating: 3.5/5

Favorite Tracks: Disease, Believe, Enemy, Clever, Infection

Least Favorite Tracks: You Never Know, Manipulation

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