Review || The Amity Affliction - "Everyone Loves You... Once You Leave Them"

Australia's The Amity Afliction have returned with a brand new album titled "Everyone Loves You... Once You Leave Them". To be honest, I'd been pretty disappointed by the band's previous album, "Misery", which felt very experimental, and hinted an unsubtle change of direction, following the path of BMTH. I was admittedly cautious when the first new single dropped but I soon changed my mind. Amity seemed to make an 180 turn and return to their roots. Then the album announcement came. A new era on a new label; bring it on.

"Everyone Loves You... Once You Leave Them" was released on February 21st 2020 via Pure Noise Records and it's Amity's first album on the label. The thing that drew me to the album was primarily aesthetic. The visual concept of the singles brought back many flashbacks from the "Chasing Ghosts" and "Let The Ocean Take Me" eras, which the band I honestly thought had renounced. Add the cover to that mix, and my interest peaked. Let's move to the sonic part. The album, which features 11 tracks, is for the most part what we would label as a back-to-basics approach. The band embraces anew their primordial metalcore roots and attempts to create an impressive outcome while adding subtle elements from their entire catalogue, along with particles of wisdom from what they've learnt in the last decade. Opener "Coffin" feels eerie, almost ominous, a perfect start for the album. The single "All My Friends Are Dead", with its hard-hitting lyrics, follows and continues teaching lessons on crushing performances from the entire band. 
As the album unfolds, it becomes clear that despite the ferocity, there is a certain element of catchiness. Sure, the personal lyrics, heavy melodies and blasting drumwork create an almost assaulting landscape, but I feel the band purposely touches on poppier/alt rock traits to make up for the  the lack of big choruses. Songs like "Baltimore Rain", "Aloneliness" with the beautiful pun and "Just Like Me" are calmer compositions, resorting to electronic sound and a much mure subtle instrumentation to impose a crisp juxtaposition. Here, as expected, bassist Ahren Stringer's clean vocals are at the forefront, creating the illusion of peace within the raging storm that vocalist Joel Birch brings along. Even on the power ballad "Fever Dream", the two work very well together to give the song more depth. It is Birch, however, who closes the album with the gripping "Catatonia" -and if you're anything like me, you can bid your sweet soul farewell. All of that is wrapped in a polished production where all the details of the compositions are clear and audible. We should actually acknowledge at this point that ELYOYLT is the band's most commercial work to date -and it sounds almost effortless. 

Overall, "Everyone Loves You... Once You Leave Them" is the closest The Amith Affliction have gone in the recent years to the absolute gem that "Chasing Ghosts" is -and yes, I am perfectly aware that I shouldn't be comparing albums but I can't help it; "Chasing Ghosts" introduced me to the band and remains to this day my favorite piece they've recorded. While it draws heavily from Amity's previous work, the result is not overwhelming in any way and reintroduces the band with a much more mature approach. It's a solid metalcore album heavily reminiscing the golden era of the genre and definitely worth your attention.

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