The Color Morale Play It Safe On Fifth Effort
Illinois five-piece The Color Morale have been around for a while now. Their new record, 'Desolate Divine', is their fifth full-length to date, following up from 2014's 'Hold On Pain Ends'. While their previous release saw them step slightly away from their straight-ahead metalcore roots, 'Desolate Divine' takes them further down this path, fusing spacious alt-rock and poppy hooks with the chugging metal they made their name on.
While their sound may have changed, one thing hasn't: The Color Morale don't mess about. One minute of album opener and new single 'Lonesome Soul' shows where 'Desolate Divine' is going - it's all big riffs, big choruses, and sweetly-sung clean vocals contrasted with a gargling-nails scream. 'Lonesome Soul' is a fairly paint-by-numbers metalcore track, but it's got a satisfying quality that should see it doing the rounds on Kerrang! TV for the foreseeable future.
'Version of Me' and 'Fauxtographic Memory' deliver catchy melodies in spades, sounding almost pop-punk at times. The rowdier end of the album is held up by the stomping opening riff of 'Trail of Blood' and the crushing bridge of 'Home Bittersweet Home'. The latter's juxtaposition of heavy guitars and screams against its monumental chorus is a particular highlight.
The big flaw in 'Desolate Divine' is its lack of variation. While The Color Morale have succeeded in introducing new elements into their sound, the whole record still feels like a band that's playing it safe. 'Desolate Divine' is a very solid record that's sure to leave fans of the band satisfied, but if the album pushed the envelope just a little bit more, The Color Morale would be on to something truly special.