Miss May I – At Heart (2012)

Miss May I is a bit like a two-week-old slice of pizza that you find in the back of your fridge: it’s not quite as good as it used to be and it’s probably not ideal, but you’re most likely going to partake in its consumption anyways. With their third full-length album, At Heart, Miss May I continues to produce generic metalcore that appeals to a wide range of people, for some reason unbeknownst to me. While I’ve never necessarily disliked Miss May I, this wildly popular band from Troy, Ohio has rarely produced anything mind-blowing or original.

Since their inception in 2006, Miss May I has accrued a massive horde of die-hard fans. This should come as no surprise to anyone surveying the current state of the metal scene. Miss May I’s brand of metalcore is accessible and appeals to many, but it fails to be new, original, or very exciting. At Heart is no exception, but it will undoubtedly receive a positive reception among Miss May I’s considerable fanbase.

My biggest issue with Miss May I’s latest effort, aside from the fact that it’s incredibly generic, is probably the vocals. While I think Levi Benton is a formidable frontman and competent vocalist, his performance on At Heart is incredibly dull and fails to leave an impact on the listener. He seems to have limited his arsenal to mid-range screams, which aren’t very spectacular. Ryan Neff’s clean vocals, on the other hand, are slightly better, although they, too, are not necessarily memorable. “Hey Mister,” the first single from At Heart, is probably the song that best showcases Neff’s clean vocals, as well as the best song on the album.

The rest of the band simply delivers standard metalcore instrumentation and they have little incentive to do anything more. The drummer, Jerod Boyd, demonstrates that he is capable and has a bit of talent. Being in an accessible metalcore band like Miss May I, however, would limit even the most talented of drummers. Any deviation from the tried and true structure of metalcore drumming is largely unnecessary.

If you’re a fan of Miss May I or if you’re content with generic metalcore, you will most likely dig At Heart. The music contained within is every bit as bland as the “artwork” that it bears on its cover (whoever thought that design was a good idea should probably be excluded from any creative decisions that Miss May I has to make in the future). If you’re looking for something more stimulating, look elsewhere.

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By Mike O’Hara ~ Me Gusta Reviews