Mychildren Mybride were a mainstay in the last wave of Christian metalcore bands that had a heyday in the early 2010s. The band followed simplistic, moshy metalcore formulas on early releases but favoured atmospheric and industrial leanings on their 2012 self-titled release. Vicious World, their eOne Music debut, has been five years in the making, and there's much to be said about this representation of half a decade's work.
The duo — yes, they are now down to just two members — consists of longtime vocalist Matthew Hastings and guitarist Robert Bloomfield. Travis Richter, best known as the long-time guitarist of From First to Last, is responsible for the fairly impressive production on Vicious World. The heavy, Meshuggah-esque guitar and drum tones are somewhat redeeming and deserve some sort of positive affirmation. It's a shame that those instrumentals are so consistently weighed down by an EDM influence that comes very far out of left of field, but the melodic aspects of "CICVDVS" nonetheless carry the duo to new heights, and recall a low-tuned equivalent to an Underoath song. "I.O.U.N," meanwhile, tastefully combines Mychildren Mybride's early metalcore roots with their more recent gothic tastes.
The darkest moments of this record are surprisingly not when Mychildren Mybride are daydreaming of being metalcore's answer to Marilyn Manson. The darkest moments of this album are actually Hastings' rap-style vocal delivery on "Act IV: The Laughing Coffin" (yes, many will laugh), and the fact that there's a dubstep song ("KevIAr") included here.
The problem with Vicious World, though, is mostly the lack of cohesion in the songwriting. Heavy, groove-ridden guitar work morphs into synth passages that conjure up misplaced clean singing for a consistently messy pattern.
Have Mychildren Mybride been so off the grid since their hiatus to not realize what trends in metal and hardcore have stood the test of time? One can't help but wonder if including more members and opinions into the process of creating Vicious World would have benefitted the lushness of the music. (eOne/Good Fight Music)