It is often said that a band’s third album should be the very epitome and focal point of what they aspire to be. It should contain all the ingredients from their former releases, combined with a newfound maturity that launches them from “good” to “outstanding.” While many bands are able to do this and not achieve anything hugely different, POISON THE WELL manages to cook up something you probably haven’t heard before with their third and latest release, You Come Before You.
Following up an album as monstrous as Tear From the Red is never an easy task, as the intensity and emotion it conveyed was far beyond anything in the genre at the time of its release, but POISON THE WELL transcend their former creation into something truly original. The opening distortion and blow-to-the-head heaviness of “Ghostchant” kick off the album with an aggro-core suckerpunch, accompanied by the affecting “Loved Ones” and one of the top cuts from the disc, “For a Bandaged Iris.”
What the hardcore sect of POISON THE WELL‘s fans definitely won’t like about You Come Before You is the curious absence of any breakdowns in the traditional hardcore sense. Past tracks such as “Nerdy” (from The Opposite of December) and “Botchla” (Tear From the Red) were classic examples of old-school hardcore breakdowns, but virtually none are present throughout this new release.
But what You lacks in conventional oomph, it makes up for in originality. “Apathy is a Cold Body” and “Sounds Like the End of the World” easily rank amongst the most brilliant compositions this band has ever put together, blending a mix of completely unique song structure and the classic POISON THE WELL crunch you gotta love them for. You Come Before You deserves a listen from anyone into hard music, and could very well open the doors for yet another genre-blurring generation of bands in the coming years. (Velvet Hammer/Atlantic)