The Word Alive shows that they are still a hardcore force to be reckoned with following the release of their newest album, HARD RESET, on August 25th. The album is perfectly described in their cover art, conveying that TWA is reborn, through all the chaos of the last few years. The tarot cards represent each of their albums, and the band is rising through the post-apocalyptic ruins of their history. Pushing their melodic metalcore sound forward in an authentic, cohesive, and honed-in way, the band delivers a religious experience to their listeners. With this release, The Word Alive collaborates with several metal, metalcore, rock, and pop-punk artists to provide listeners with an absolute head-banger of an album.
Track by Track
The first track, "THE WORD ALIVE IS DEAD...," is a jarring start to the album, which Telle Smith, the lead singer, describes is a way "to sort of cleanse the palate of the listener before entering our new era with an open mind." The name of the song is a play on words that the band uses to make a statement of what is to come with the rest of the album.
Followed by the record's namesake, "HARD RESET" is a track that describes the overall theme of introspection and change.
"STRANGE LOVE," released ahead of the album, is an emotional rollercoaster with an absolute gut punch of a lyric that says, "I drank your love like it was cyanide," which gives a very visual representation of what can occur in toxic relationships.
Collaborating with Noah Sebastion from Bad Omens on "ONE OF US," The Word Alive references the track "2012" from their debut record Deceiver as a way for them to connect the band they are now with the band that they started out as. The theme of the song centers around revenge and the idea of moving away from being the victim to creating victims.
"NEW REALITY" is another predecessor of the album that gives us an ego check to humble ourselves and understand where we could go versus where we should go in terms of our own personal journeys.
"HATE ME," featuring powerhouse vocals from Julian Comeau in Loveless, fits the overall theme of the album perfectly with its underdog mentality, and "SLOW BURN" follows embedded with emotions of sadness, anger, and desperation learned through a hard lesson.
The band features the long-anticipated collaboration with Craig Mabbitt from Escape the Fate with the next track, "FADE AWAY." Craig's vocals fit perfectly on the song and contribute to the heart-wrenching feel expressed so well in the music.
"A NEW EMPTY" features Normandie, and Telle shares with us, "...overall that song is just about thinking you’ve already hit a rock bottom, only to find out you had even further to drop." Philip Strand brings a perfect style of vocals to the song that The Word Alive uses to experiment with new elements sonically that the band hasn't tried before.
Following the slew of features, "STATIC RAIN" is a song that honors a friend of the band who lost his mother. It is a powerful message that conveys a story of accomplishment and improvement for loved ones who may worry about where you are in life.
"INVISIBLE ARMY" is up next with music that can be described as a call to action for people who feel invisible or unheard. The song will without a doubt be an anthem for The Word Alive fans to connect with others in the scene to know that they're not alone when there is a room full of people singing along with them.
"NOCTURNAL FUTURE" follows with one of the heaviest breakdowns in metalcore and a chilling transition into the final chorus that Telle describes came to be because he loves push and pull dynamics in a song, along with the added layer of having aggression, beauty, and softness all in one is just how he feels the emotions needed to be expressed.
The Word Alive closes out their album with a feature from Matt Good with From First to Last on "WAR WITH YOU." This collaboration holds a special significance with The Word Alive having toured with From First to Last on one of their first major tours, as well as working with Matt previously to create one of their previous albums, Dark Matter.
HARD RESET focuses on introspection that can help create small change within us all, which, in turn, makes the world a better place with what Telle describes as "lyrics that he keeps coming back to." The overall goal of the album was to be about more than one song being the focus. However, the band hopes that listeners will be able to connect to the message of HARD RESET, whether it's in one song or in all thirteen.
The Word Alive chose a lot of heavy hitter collaborators for HARD RESET, which Telle shares was a natural process to decide who would feature, saying, "I would be working on a song, and when the song showed me who of my friends' voices would fit best, I just texted them and asked if they would be down. Thankfully, everybody loved their songs, and I couldn’t be happier with how everyone did. It’s always easy to work with friends, especially as talented as the guys are."
The metalcore band is looking forward to playing their new songs live, and Telle shares with us that a younger version of himself would be so stoked with the creation of this new album. Even though TWA is excited to be playing these new songs for their fans, they are going to be providing old bangers from their 15 years of making music in their upcoming shows. The Hard Reset tour is currently underway, and tickets to upcoming shows can be found here. We highly recommend you catch The Word Alive on what is already panning out to be a legendary run with the first few shows of their tour.