Review: “Cult of the Like” by By Will Alone

Comprising Itay Parkinson Steingold who provides the Electronics and production, Guitarist Chen Shaya and vocalist Alex Getsin, By Will Alone are a trio hailing from Tel Aviv, Israel who have already released some material in the form of 2015 single “Royal Flush & Snake Eyes” and 2016 EP “Trilestials”. Their full debut album “Cult of the Like” has a quartet of guest vocalists across its 10 tracks and 38 minute run time and interestingly, given the album title, at least two of them could be considered more famous for their YouTube works than their own bands material. Such is the state of the World in this day and age.

The 102 second introduction piece that is “Prelude to Vanity” has a speech sample about the life being catalogued online while being underpinned by an electronic groove that has a lot in common with the Electronicore sound of “Mind Games” from Palisades. “Dirty Pics” features Luke Griffin of of Acrania, Human Error, Scribe of Existence but also a releaser YouTube vocal covers among other things. Keeping the electronics flowing but bringing the guitars in heavy with Metalcore riffage and some brutal rap-screams of Getsin, the song is the story of someone who claims humiliation but knew the dirty pictures they took would leak online. It’s a socially aware tale for a modern age which is intelligent and thought provoking lyrically while bringing all the bounce, aggression and Pig squeals necessary to get a circle pit going! “BitchCraft” features Rok Rupnik, otherwise known as the voice of Slovenian Slammers Within Destruction and his deeper vocal register and the eerie buried speech sample sets a darker atmospheric. The band play with mood with more melodic elements that reflect some post-hardcore influences in the mix while also harnessing the power of their heavier side. There is an early career Bring Me The Horizon quality to some of the vocals and guitar work that is counter balanced by Rupnik’s brutal vocals and the final outcome is a song has nuances coming out of the woodwork with every listen.

First single “Witch Witch Witch” brings back the earlier electronics and some more melodic guitar work. Complete with “Bleagh!” and a cleaner version of the earlier uncleans that gives the song a sing-a-long ability during the live shows, it’s steeped in an an aching beauty at it’s core while overlaying it with some remix styled electronica. “Profile Puncture” steps up into a far heavier register with demonic Deathcore rap-screams over breakdowns inter-spliced with a sense high energy adrenaline from the electronics and some Pig squeals. It’s the gaps between the riffage that makes the song with the electronics bleeding through while the vocals keep a steady flow and anchoring point for the track. “Are We Connected” fuses together the styles of the previous two tracks vocals while adding in a few spoken word raps that build up and and drop off nicely. The sung chorus is accompanied by some melodic Metalcore guitars that step up into heavier tones during the verses. The result is a track that attacks in waves and with calms and storms. “Cult of the Like” is the most melodic track on the album, rotating around the track title in as a sung chorus and electronica that brings to mind the earlier work from The Browning. There is a vast vocal range on show with everything from spoken word, to pop-section, to raps, rap screams and brutal gutturals. The main electronic loop centers around something that is icy cold and adds to the darker sentiment behind the lyrics.

“Dating Apps” features Andrew Zink who again is famous for online content from Brojob and Into Infernus and builds up from a melodic riff that bridges the previous track into this one nicely. The savage vocals are counter balanced by some guitar intricacies that lead to a staccato section and rapping that bursts back into Melodic Metalcore with a brilliant sweep picking section. The clean sung vocal harmony chorus towards the end of the song will no doubt catch you off guard the first few times around and sounds like it belongs on a punk goes pop record. It grows on you with repeated listens and is fortunately broken by some heavier vocals. “Flocks of Unkindness” features Casey Tyson-Pearce of Angel Maker fame. It’s the longest track on the album, not that you’d notice. It has a fair amount in common with Hunt The Dinosaur with rap screams and violent roars bursting out from some cleaner raps and spoken word elements all wrapped up in some brutal crushing breakdowns. There is a sense of urgency, bounce and energy that keeps things flowing nicely and the intricate solo is tight. “Ode to Occulture” is an instrumental atmospheric piece that creates an almost ambient mood with melodic guitars and programmed drums over some bright electronica. Perhaps a track that wouldn’t fit anywhere else on the album as a whole, it acts as a pallet cleanser that washes away the heavier elements and is a refreshing cut.

By Will Alone aren’t a band for the purists. Their material spans genres and sub-genres within songs and has so many influences, it beggars belief. If you’re a fan of “Suicide Season – Cut Up” by Bring Me The Horizon then you’ll get a fair idea of what the core sound is, in terms of electronics and guitar work. There is a far heavier band inside the band that has created some of the softer more melodic material here and the variety is something that will keep you coming back for repeated listens. The sheer amount of nuances within each track let alone with the album creates a complexity of sound that never gets boring because there is so much going on. Somehow By Will Alone manage to keep it all together tastefully and keep things from disintegrating into a savage mess and instead create something interesting and with a lot of re-listen appeal [8/10]

Track listing

  1. “Prelude to Vanity”
  2. “Dirty Pics” ft. Luke Griffin of Acrania, Human Error, Scribe of Existence
  3. “BitchCraft” ft. Rok Rupnik of Within Destruction
  4. “Witch Witch Witch”
  5. “Profile Puncture”
  6. “Are We Connected”
  7. “Cult of the Like”
  8. “Dating Apps” ft. Andrew Zink of BroJob, Into Infernus
  9. “Flocks of Unkindness” ft. Casey Tyson-Pearce of Angel Maker
  10. “Ode to Occulture”

“Cult of the like” by By Will Alone will be released on 25th April 2019 and is available for pre-order over at distrokid and  iTunes

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