Rise Of The Lion is the fourth studio album from Ohio metalcore quintet Miss May I. The album was release April 29th under Rise Records and is currently streaming on Rise’s YouTube channel. What’s with the title anyway? As stated in a previous review here on Music Mayhem, it’s a very fan based album, songs were written in responses to letters the band received from fans. In an interview with Absolutepunk.net frontman Levi Benton said this; “Basically the lion is a symbol for us and all of our fans. We just wanted to dedicate this to them. This is our follow-through record, and we think this is going to be a big one and a big fan-base growing album for us. This is the rise of the lion.” Three singles were released from the album, “Gone” on February 27th, “Echoes” on April 1st and most recently “Refuse to Believe” on April 18th. Just hearing those three tracks give you a pretty good idea about the entirety of the album. It’s very intense and in your face. There are no slow tracks or ballads which has it’s pros and cons; some people like something a little slower to break it up, others like intensity straight though. Only two tracks really stood out to me, both of which are singles; “Refuse to Believe” was the first single I heard and actually the first Miss May I track I’d ever listened to and it piqued my interest and drew me in. The second, “Echoes”…oh boy. The content of the song is incredibly sad, losing loved ones is never an easy thing. When you watch the video it’s like the tear filled icing on the boo-hoo cake. It’s incredibly heart wrenching and depicts, basically, a mother losing her baby, I don’t want to give away the video for those that haven’t seen, but the ending is really sad. And as someone who would like to have her own children one day, it’s a huge fear. Most fans are still ragging on the vocal aspect, and I’m still not sure why. Bands change! IF Benton’s voice is going like people are saying it is (however I haven’t been able to find anything stating that it is or isn’t), obviously the vocals would change slightly, but it’s not horrible. And personally I love Ryan Neff’s cleans, they’re reminiscent of Atreyu’s Brandon Saller.
Rating: 4/5 -I thought it was great. A little heavy for my liking but it did have its moments. Like I said before I’m a huge fan of the cleans; I like when they’re at a lower tone sometimes. It just seems to compliment the non-clean vocals better. I don’t know, maybe it makes them seem more masculine to me and I dig that? Anyway. Great album, totally in your face and wonderful for if you’d like back massages at red lights-unless you don’t drive. Pick up Rise of the Lion on iTunes, or their MerchNow store!