OF MICE & MEN – RESTORING FORCE: FULL CIRCLE Review

After a huge 2014 supporting Linkin Park, playing Reading Festival as well as Vans Warped Tour, OF MICE & MEN are back to release their reissue of 2014 album ‘Restoring Force’.

This is one of the most highly anticipated albums of 2015, and it is nothing short of perfection. Well, what can I say?

Of Mice & Men have had a major couple of years, and 2015 is set to continue that momentum. ‘Restoring Force’ was released back on January 28th 2014, just over a year later, ‘Restoring Force: Full Circle’ is released with 3 brand new tracks, as well as an acoustic version of ‘Feels Like Forever’.

On February 4th, the band debuted the new single ‘Broken Generation’ accompanied by a music video. This had a great reaction, and was followed with the release of their second brand new track ‘Never Giving Up’, released on Friday 20th.

‘Restoring Force’ was a great album. Harnessing that great Western Metal style that Of Mice & Men are renowned for, it only strengthened their drive as a band. The new tracks, added to the reissue, have given the band a different dynamic that I don’t think we have seen before. ‘Broken Generation’ was the first track the band released off of the reissue. I think this track really enhances all of the bands assets.

Vocally, this track is stunning. Aaron Pauley’s vocals are used to their full potential in this track. In harmony with Austin Carlile’s growls, this is a vocal combination to compete with the best. Intertwining growls and clean sections through the chorus sections keeps the intensity at bay without over-using either of their assets. This is a massive progression from their earlier tracks from the first release of the album. Hosting a much more mature approach, both vocally and instrumentally, ‘Broken Generation’ leaves you feeling satisfied and with a great aftertaste.

‘Something To Hide’ boasts many more similarities to their earlier material. Starting with a massive Western style riff, you can feel the direction returning to its previous state, but again the increased maturity is apparent, as we get into the chorus. The Western riffs continue, but merging with seamless melodic rhythm sections to introduce the clean vocals once again. I can sense the aim to create great live tracks with this new direction. With complimenting melodic sections for fans that want to sing along, amongst sections that will give the more energetic fans something to ‘mosh’ to, I think this will suit most people and allow Of Mice & Men to gain a wider fan base that they had previously not been able to access to.

‘Never Giving Up’ is the last new track on the reissue, and you can sense that this track was put together to end the album on a high. Starting with a relatively tame melodic introduction, we hear the use of Aaron Pauley’s clean vocals to ease in as it intensifies through the contrasting dynamics of Austin’s growls and the ever-intensifying guitar riffs. This track features both the harmonic composition featured in ‘Something To Hide’ alongside the heavier and more attack-based riffs that we can hear in ‘Feels Like Forever’. With catchy ‘On You’ chant sections at the end of each chorus, it is clear that this track is out for the lively party atmosphere. Ending with a massive riff section showing that Carlile’s vocals still play a massive part in this band even with the increased use of clean vocals, we end abruptly with ringing guitars and synth easing out as the album concludes.

This is a massive track that I think will be great to hear live with a crowd in full force.

To end this reissue we are gifted with an acoustic version of ‘Feels Like Forever’. This is a vocal masterpiece. Complimenting each other perfectly, it is great to hear the vocal harmony created by Austin and Aaron. A great combination and one that I think could be enhanced a lot more in future releases. This is a really well arranged acoustic version, that I think is a great addition to the album. It is another dynamic that Of Mice & Men have that we don’t often get to see. This is a real treat for fans and aspiring musicians alike.

Overall this is a great reissue. It clearly shows the progression that the band has made over the past year, and the direction in which it is going. A lot more experimental, and personally, I would say this has a much more mature feel about it. I think this will be a great hit with fans, and will go down really well on their headline tour with The Amity Affliction and Volumes in March.

Of Mice & Men have just come off of a US and European tours with Linkin Park and Rise Against, but will be back in mainland Europe between the 11th and 24th of March, hitting UK shores after.

Be sure to pick up ‘Restoring Force: Full Circle’, out in the UK on Monday.

UK Tour Dates:

March

26 – Southampton – O2 Guildhall

27 – Bristol – O2 Academy

28 – London – O2 Academy Brixton

30 – Glasgow – Barrowland Ballroom

31 – Newcastle-upon-Tyne – O2 Academy

April

2 – Nottingham – Rock City

3 – Birmingham – O2 Academy

4 – Manchester – Academy

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Review by Siôn Roe

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