Photo Credit: Ashley Von Helsing
Motionless in White was formed in Scranton, Pennsylvania in the early 2000s. Influenced heavily by the nu-metal movement, MIW fashioned a sound early on that was both dark and shiny. Genre names are often confusing and always misleading but the word “horror” could certainly be ascribed to Motionless In White’s general vibe and certainly their preferred subject matters of ghosts, ghouls, murder, and mayhem. So for their sixth studio album, they must have spent some time contemplating: What is frightening? How about the end of the world? Composing the musical accompaniment to the end of days is without question a lofty goal. How successful was Motion in White in scoring the end of the world? Well, that really depends on how you want to spend your last minutes on earth.
Scoring the End of the World opens up with the theatrical bombast fans of Motionless in White have become accustomed to, the production values and composition making the album decidedly cinematic. On “Meltdown”, singer Chris “Motionless” Cerulli growls and trills in such a way that you almost look forward to doomsday in the manner that coming attractions pique your interest in a film by filling a brief few minutes with as much action as possible. “Signs of Life” is an auto-tuned extravaganza that sounds a lot more like the theme music for a Japanese video game than a dirge for the species.
“Werewolf” begins promisingly with a wolf’s howl but quickly devolves into predictable crunchy riffs and synthesizers that flourish. “Cyberhex” which benefits from the addition of the extremely talented Lindsay Schoolcraft is the standout track on this album, but even this jam can barely distinguish itself from the blizzard of shiny sound that makes up this effort. Now, please understand this is all a question of taste. The musicianship is undeniable, the production, as mentioned earlier, is absolutely unimpeachable, and the tone and theme of the album are nothing if not consistent. But it all amounts to a sort of cyber gothic opera that is, how can I put this? An acquired taste. But, if you are a fan of bands like Creeper for example, and you like your rock with a heavy dose of autotune, you could do a lot worse than Scoring the End of the World.
For those of you keeping score at home, we now have one plague, one recession, civil unrest domestically, and several wars percolating abroad, at least one of those with nuclear potential and the real possibility of irreversible climate disaster within our lifetimes. If you are not at least vaguely contemplating the end of days then you have not been paying attention. So, if you are in the mood to embrace the end of all history and you have shopped at Hot Topic at some point in your life, then this is the album for you. Turn it up and embrace the implacable void.