Retrospective Review: Motionless In White - Graveyard Shift
2017 was quite the odd time for Scranton, Pennsylvania’s own, Motionless In White. The release of their record Graveyard Shift saw the band further push a direction of balancing the line between metalcore, largely influenced by Bleeding Through that made up the early portion of their career and their newer take on industrial metal. Both of the aforementioned styles are very much still present on this album with the first half of the record being much more industrial and metalcore taking the forefront in the second portion. Very oddly this was both one of the bands most successful records with perhaps their biggest song but also many die-hard's refer to this as their least favorite Motionless In White release. With tons of listens of this record under my belt, we're going to take a listen in retrospect and just how Graveyard Shift sounds nearly three years later.
I wouldn't call Graveyard Shift to radical of a movement towards any direction for the band, instead the band is more or less so doubling down on what they've grown to believe their strengths to be. The influence of Marilyn Manson and Slipknot is felt very hard on tracks like Not My Type: Dead As F**k 2 and Soft. I've seen complaints from other reviewers in the past about Motionless In White sounding too much like their influences and I have to strongly disagree. When you mix as wide of a range of influencing artists as Motionless In White it prevents it from coming off as ripping off and becomes more about paying homage. I'd be foolish not mention the neck snapping crowd pleaser 570 as one of the standout songs of the record as well. Perhaps the band has never made a more arena ready track than their radio smash hit Voices, which for a radio type track is actually pretty charming and endearing. The record rolls along with another instant hit, Loud with it's strong nu-metal vibes, something the band would continue to experiment with further on their 2019 record Disguise. Hourglass is one of my personal favorites on the LP, sounding like an updated and matured version of something from the Creatures era.
The track Untouchable is pretty clearly an attempt at an anthem and an extremely rare failure for Chris Motionless as a songwriter as the song feels very forced and sterile. Eternally Yours is a very unique track in the fact that it's a love song but surprisingly heavy thus breaking the stereotype of emotional or romantic songs needing a softer musical backing. Lead vocalist and band figurehead Chris Motionless does as good as a job as ever on Graveyard shift displaying his raw passion, anger and emotion, portraying himself as a genuine personal with wit and integrity. The feature from Korn's Jonathan Davis on Necessary Evil was pulled off extremely tastefully and is a surefire proud moment for the band to be able to collaborate with a huge inspiration of theirs.
Graveyard Shift pleasantly features several of Motionless In White's most underappreciated tracks such as Queen for Queen, The Ladder, and Hourglass, with the second two being great mosh pit starters. Some argue this is the point where the group became too experimental but I feel more often then not they pull off rather well. Some don't seem to understand that when Motionless In White perform a goofy or cheesy song, it's meant to come off that way purposefully. I wouldn't venture to say that this is at all the bands best album by any means but it certainly isn't anywhere near as bad as some critics have considered it to be. I believe Graveyard Shift goes down as a nice piece of a fantastic discography for Motionless In White giving it 4 out of 5 stars from us.