Of Mice & Men, ‘Cold World’ – Album Review
Of Mice & Men have had plenty of success, including several radio hits such as “Feels Like Forever” and “Would You Still Be There,” and their last album (2014‘s Restoring Force) landed in the Top 5 of the Billboard 200 album chart.
They have also faced plenty of adversity that has given them a resolve and wisdom beyond their years, and that is reflected in their latest effort, Cold World.
Their fourth full-length is easily their most diverse. They seamlessly flow from intense metalcore to mainstream rock. They don’t rocket out of the gate on Cold World, instead going with the deliberate “Game of War,” a reserved and sparse song that’s downright mellow with subdued, melodic vocals.
“The Lie” is a more traditional Of Mice & Men track that balances passionate spoken word and screaming vocals with melodic singing and a closing breakdown. The single “Real” is the album’s catchiest track, with a sing-along chorus and a more uplifting message than many of the other songs. “Away” is another one with single potential, a hooky and accessible mid-tempo song.
A lot of lyrical topics are covered on Cold World. One that frontman Austin Carlile is all too familiar with is pain. He suffers from the rare genetic condition Marfan Syndrome, which leaves him with chronic pain. "Pain" is a cathartic song with no clean vocals and lyrics that include “Pain / Every day that I awake / In my blood and through my veins / Now there's nothing left that you can take away from me.”
In addition to rock and metalcore, there are hints of nu-metal on “Relentless,” which seems destined to become a live staple. The album closer “Transfigured” boasts a tasty bass groove from Aaron Pauley and is yet another memorable track that features all melodic vocals. It’s a great bookend with “Game of War,” which begins the record with a bass riff.
The band once again worked with producer David Bendeth (Papa Roach, Breaking Benjamin). He has worked with a lot of successful groups that are both heavy and melodic like Of Mice & Men, and knows how to effectively capture both sides of the coin.
Those who enjoyed Restoring Force may like Cold World even more, as it has more variety and tighter songwriting, a combination that should help Of Mice & Men gain even more fans outside the metalcore world, while holding onto the legions of followers they've gained throughout the years.