Shane & Ryan Flynn
The Evolution Of Motionless In White
Motionless In White is one of the most successful and popular metal bands of the decade. The Pennsylvania based group has undergone numerous changes over the years from a metalcore band to a blend of numerous genres including alternative and industrial metal. Along the way Motionless In White has built a dedicated fan-base as strong as any other band in the metalcore scene. We'll take a look at how the band has transformed over the years both musically and aesthetically. Lets take a brief look at the evolution of the band.
Motionless In White was founded by lead singer and songwriter, Chris Cerulli, in 2005 and the band released their first demo shortly thereafter. After settling on a lineup the group put out their first EP "The Whorror" in 2007 and started to build a following through touring and MySpace. In 2009 Ryan Sitowksi was added to the band to fill the guitarist role and the band proceeded to release their second EP "When Love Met Destruction". It was at this time MIW began to gain a much wider reaching buzz and the foundation of a dedicated fan-base was built.
Due to the success of their sophomore EP, Motionless In White was signed to Fearless Records for their debut LP. Shortly before the recording of their first album Cerulli recruited guitarist Ricky Olson to join the band initially at the bass position. The LP entitled "Creatures" was released in October of 2010 to much newly found fanfare as well a hit music video for the song "Immaculate Misconception". The band quickly gained notoriety for being the very few metalcore band to make use of elements such as makeup and other gothic themes. While the album was widely considered a smash success, rhythm guitarist was removed from the group after he abandoned the bands tour to fill in for Escape The Fate. Olson now moved to bass and Devin Sola was swiftly brought it as bassist. Despite some lineup changes, this era put Motionless In White on the map and Creatures is still revered by many as the bands best album.
Having now settled on their guitarist positions, Motionless In White began embarking on their second album in 2012, this time with much higher hype surrounding the release. The band chose to record the album with two separate producers to give it a wider array of sounds and textures. "Infamous" was released on November 13th, 2012 to nearly universal positive reviews with many noting the varying styles calling it a blend of the best elements of Marilyn Manson and Bleeding Through. This success however did not stop further band-mate departures from occurring as drummer, Angelo Parento left the band in March of 2013 having cited tour exhaustion. This did not hamper the bands further ascent however, as they charted at number 53 on the Billboard Chart and were able to have a music video for "America" directed by Slipknot mega-star, Shawn "Clown" Crahan. At this time many felt that Motionless In White possessed the potential to become the next metal band to break into the mainstream.
On September 15th 2014, Motionless In White unveiled what would go on to become their biggest album to date in the form of Reincarnate. Stunning many in the music industry, the album dropped at number 9 on the US Billboard Chart and sold 31,000 physical copies in it's first week, something not many metal bands of the 2010's have been able to accomplish. Stylistically Reincarnate saw the group shift much more towards a industrial style with the album being compared to Marilyn Manson and Cradle Of Filth in many reviews. This is the time where the groups fan-base started to splinter into different segments that either perfected the older more metalcore style or the newer alternative direction. Reincarnate would also notable be the last bands release on Fearless Records as it's massive success brought them a major label deal with Roadrunner Records, home of Slipknot. The sky seemed to be the limit for the band and many were wondering what heights they could achieve with major label support.
Motionless In White's major label debut, "Graveyard Shift" dropped on May 5th, 2017. The album contained the bands biggest radio hit to this day with the single "Voices" and the band was once again off to the races with the album debuting at number 27."Voices" is also on track to soon be the bands first and only song to break 25 million views on YouTube. The record would display a continued shift away from metalcore and further inclusion of industrial, gothic, and nu-metal influences.While many stilled loved this record, some of the core fans that strongly prefer started to dwindle in their support of the group. At the same time the band found thousands of new listeners due to their close connections with the massively successful In This Moment. Also worth noting, this would be Motionless In Whites final release with both bassist Devin Sola and keyboardist Josh Balz, who both departed under hushed circumstances.
After many years of using touring and studio drummers, the band decided on Vinny Mauro to hold the reigns as a full-time member and replaced Sola with former Ice Nine Kills bassist, Josh Morrow. Having finally decided on what has the makings of a cohesive consistent lineup, the band embarked on creating their 5th studio album in 2019. "Disguise" would be released on June 7th of 2019, charting once again at number 27, which is very impressive given the declining state of music sales. The album placed a further emphasis on nu-metal influences which can be heard in several tracks, leading to some mixed reviews from critics. To the delight of many original fans the record contained nods to the bands more metalcore influenced past and even included a part two of a "Creatures" song with the track "Undead Ahead 2" The band also began to display a more stripped back looked than on previous album cycles with noticeably less makeup being worn by the group as well has a lyrical shift away from their usual tongue-in-cheek style to more personal lyrics. Overall "Disguise" was considered a success by many, having nearly matched the sales of Graveyard Shift.
In conclusion, Motionless In White has gone through many member changes, nearly with each record cycle, but they have been able to secure one of the most dedicated fan bases in the metalcore scene. I believe this in large part due to the likability and charisma of lead vocalist, Chris Motionless. While not all their fans like each of the bands albums, they do feel like the band is being genuine with them and putting out music they are genuine about. The band has always stayed true to themselves and made their fans feel like family to them. This will ensure that Motionless In White has a legacy and following that will last for all of their existence. From humble beggings, MIW has become undoubtedly one of the most important bands in the heavy music scene of the past decade and have helped blur the lines between the metalcore audience and fans of several other sub-genres thus helping to bring together people who never before have shared a bond over another band, proving their significant place in heavy music history.