The Word Alive
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The Word Alive

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Tyler "Telle" Smith has been quite a busy man (Telle, if your reading this, you probably saw it coming). His journey started in Emarosa, and he then moved on and started In Fear And Faith. From there he went on to play bass for Greeley Estates then finally landed the role of the frontman in the The Word Alive. You may see a correlation between these bands.

Empire opens with the track "Battle Royale" and comes in with a bang. Skillful drumming, power chords, great riffs, schizophrenic keys and great vocals are all displayed within the first track of the EP. The guitarists create heavy riffs and catchy solos throughout [/i]Empire[/i] (see "How To Build An Empire"). "Quit While You're Ahead" displays how quickly The Word Alive can transition from a soft tone to a heavy breakdown. "The Only Rule Is There Are No Rules" shows just how heavy The Word Alive can be. Opening with some deep growls, it continues with great riffs, an insane double bass and countless breakdowns throughout the song. The band can work great together and is shows on the track "Inviting Eyes." Some keyboardist in the metalcore genre do too much and it can get annoying but the keyboardist places everything well on Empire. "How To Build An Empire" opens with great effects and sounds like something In Fear And Faith would do (no offense, Telle).

Craig Mabbitt was the orignal vocalist for The Word Alive and left big shoes for newcomer Tyler "Telle" Smith, but Telle's growled and clean vocals are outstanding on Empire. His vocals are simple and make this EP so much better. The subjects are about life and are something we all can relate to. "Every single time I see your face/ it reminds me of why I walked away" is a perfect example.

The Word Alive have stepped it up and debut with a great EP. If you're a fan of Agraceful or Blessthefall, you'll sure to be a fan of The Word Alive's Empire.
- Absolutepunk.net


Release Date: July 21st, 2009
Record Label: Fearless Records
Genre: Metal

Normally Fearless Records likes to keep their music on either the pop-rock, post-hardcore, or general rock side of things. And while A Skylit Drive and Alesana have their moments, I believe we can crown a winner of the “hardest at Fearless” award today. The winner being, the metal six-piece group The Word Alive. Having recently signed to the label, the group quickly began work on their new EP, “Empire,” and are on track to capture the ears of today’s youthful metal scene.
Featuring the vocals of Tyler Smith (ex-Greeley Estates, In Fear and Faith), you should have an inkling into what type of music “Empire” is all about. Beginning with high-flying, melodic, metalcore guitars, we are lead down a gauntlet of double bass percussion — with nothing but a set of teamed vocals to guide us. Tyler and Zack’s extremely opposite vocals can seem like a balance to some, but can feel a bit awkward at times. On a fresh note, Dusty’s keys slip in and out of the bands tracks with relative ease and actually reinforce sections that lack diversity.

Besides the nitpicking of the high-contrast vocals, “Empire” is a bold new effort. Harder then what most in similar circles are used to, The Word Alive is filled to the brim with energetic and multifaceted fretwork of both chugging breakdowns and soaring solos, robust drums, and a wide range of vocals for both the growler and songbird in you. Packaged with being a comfortable ~22 minute EP, “Empire” plays like the last bowl of porridge, just right. ~Staff

Score: 4/5
- bringonmixedreviews.com


The Word Alive's debut EP is another post hardcore record that features both clean and screamed vocals, winding guitars, an abundance of double bass and a keyboard. Tons of bands follow this formula, but The Word Alive is able to create something catchy, heavy, fast, emotional and epic...all at the same time.

Empire is another one of those 'genre-bending' releases, except they do it right. This album truly sounds different with every song. How many other Post-Hardcore albums can claim this? "The Only Rule Is That There Are No Rules" is breakdown filled and heavy throughout, whereas "Quit While You're Ahead" sounds like a metalcore version of an Emerosa song. In a scene that is vastly overpopulated, The Word Alive brings us a handful of fresh sounds in this EP.

Tyler 'Telle' Smith is fantastic on vocals. A great singer and strong screamer (backed by guitarist Zack Hanson and Tony Pizzuti), Telle has finally found his home in a band. Guitars are amazing throughout, consisting of complex riffs and shredding solos, while also using some generic open-stringed breakdowns, which do not overpopulate the album. Excellent drumming by photographer Tony Aguilera, but a special mention to keyboardist Dusty Riach. Bands are finally starting to realize that keyboardists can actually add some strong elements to a song. Dusty's keys add that little extra spark to make this album stand out.

The standout track on the album is their new mix of Casanova Rodeo. I say this because it is clear that this song wasn't written at a different time, by a different person (being ex-vocalist Craig Mabbitt). The song is also the simpilist song on the EP, as well as being the most catchy. If you were a fan of TWA with Craig, this song will most likely disappoint. Although Telle does the best to make it his own, he shines on the other 5 tracks.

For a band who has put out only one, 6-tracked EP, The Word Alive has already made their way into the scene. Empire is an increabily strong first release for the band, which shows expetional promise for the future. Expect a stunning full length from these guys soon. - sputnikmusic.com


Discography

Empire- Released 7/21/09 on Fearless Records

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Bio

Sometimes a sweeping change within an entity is all the is needed for all the cards to fall into place. In the case of metal- hardcore outfit The Word Alive, by gaining a dynamic new vocalist, it was just the catalyst the group needed to take their next steps forward in their burgeoning career.

Feeling a bit stagnant in their progression beforehand, the addition of vocalist Tyler Smith (ex- Greeley Estates, In Fear And Faith) catapulted the band's ambitions to the forefront. With this initiation, their goals and ambitions were much more a reality, and they set to work on what would become of their forthcoming debut EP, 'Empire.'

"Once I joined we all felt we had a chance to do something special and we've worked hard to make that happen ever since," Smith said. "We are all postive that we have something different, and that helps motivate us to work harder."

Recorded with producer Andrew Wade in Orlando, FL, 'Empire' is an intimately personal album for Smith, whose impassioned lyrical subjects range from dissolving relationship to the struggles he was battling privately. Enhanced by furious guitar wizardry courtesy of shredders Tony Pizzuti and Zack Hansen, as well as rapid fire drumming brought to life by Tony Aguilera, the EP is a non-stop sonic assault that is at once powerful and unpredictable.

"We all feed off eachother really well," Smith said. "We take a little bit of everything we like and put it together to try and give the listener at least something to grasp onto when they hear a song for the first time. We consider ourselves a metal band who enjoys singing alot. As much as we love being brutal, we love being referred to as 'epic' and 'beautiful'. It works for us."

Since joining the Fearless family with the objective of "taking our band to a whole other level," The Word Alive are intending to achieve that design with the release of 'Empire,' as well as anticipatory streches of roads and shows. Smith said the touring experience has been a priceless endeavor, a test that will show their compatibility on stage, as well as their staying power. Despite several trials and tribulations while traversing the country (blowing tires, striking wildlife) their premiere trek has shown the quick rise and admiration of the band. Beginning with a sold-out night for their first out-of-state show on their first ever tour, the Phoenix natives are reaching fans nationwide with their incendiary stage presence and bombtastic music.

"We hope to just keep touring, touring, touring... we couldn't be happier or more appreciative to be on tour right now," Smith said. "I think despite having some of the worst luck in the early beginnings of being a touring band yet never missing a show, we always have a postive attitude and that will make us a stronger band."

For a band with a chance to begin cutting its teeth in the touring world, and with an explosive new EP, change has never looked so good as on The Word Alive.