When Ohio metalcore mob Beartooth exploded onto the scene back in 2014 with their ferocious debut album Disgusting, they won over many fans with their cocktail of lethal metallic hardcore and Caleb Shomo's spleen-venting lyrics. Unsuprisingly, and as is generally the case with bands, as time passed Beartooth spread their metaphorical musical wings and, well, simply put, grew up.
So, that was 2014, we're now in 2018 and the band are releasing their third album, Disease. As the album lurches into opener “Greatness Or Death”, it’s apparent that Shomo is still battling his inner demons a theme that continues throughout the title track and onwards. Lyrically then, nothing particularly surprising while, musically, Disease sees Beartooth head into modern hard rock waters currently populated by bands like Papa Roach. Soundwise then, it feels like Disease lurches backwards and forwards between styles without ever actually settling down. For every “Fire”, where Beartooth race through the gears more in keeping with Disgusting-era material, there is a track like “You Never Know” where the band attempt to knock down the door of the mainstream rock radio stations.
Hear Beartooth's Caleb Shomo exorcise his demons in "Disease"
The album continues on this path seeing the band make a decent effort of blending the two styles together on “Manipulation” although they then spoil things with the sickly “Believe” which, compared to the grittier style of the rest of the album, sticks out like a very sore thumb. To be honest though, it’s this track which epitomises this album and Beartooth in 2018. Do they want to keep their metalcore roots? Do they want to go for mainstream glory? Listening to Disease, it’s hard to work out and, by the time the album has finished, it seems like the band themselves still haven’t decided.
Disease Track Listing:
01. Greatness Or Death
04. You Never Know
05. Bad Listener
06. After all
11. Used And Abused
Run Time: 41:00 Release Date: September 28, 2018 Record Label: Red Bull Records