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Aug 31, 09 at 6:13pm ^The Word Alive
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The Word Alive
The Word Alive is an American metalcore band from Phoenix, Arizona, formed in 2008, the band is currently signed to Fearless Records. Their 2009 label debut, Empire reached position 15 on the Top Heatseekers, meeting a great amount of positive acclaim upon its release in 2009. The following year, the group recorded and released their debut full-length album, Deceiver on August 31, 2010, which reached 97 on the Billboard 200 and 15 on Independent Albums. The Word Alive has gained renown praise for their innovative style of modern metalcore; blending thrash, groove, alternative and ambient elements into their overall delivery.
The Word Alive was founded in 2008 by Craig Mabbitt (lead vocals) with Zack Hansen (lead guitar) and Tony Pizzuti (rhythm guitar) who were former members of the bands Calling of Syrens and Clouds Take Shape. As a side-project of Mabbitt during his part in Escape the Fate, the remaining required members he recruited to start The Word Alive were chosen to be Nick Urlacher (bass), Dusty Riach (keyboard) and Tony Aguilera (drums). The group recorded songs with the intention of releasing them as a self-titled EP, despite that it never surfaced. Later on, the band forced Mabbitt to leave due to their dissatisfaction with Escape the Fate's schedules, which required Mabbitt to work as a full-time member.
The day after, Mabbitt posted a blog to his fans via his Myspace account explaining that leaving the band was not his decision and that "[The Word Alive] pretty much replaced me while I was on the road due to the fact that they wanted to tour and couldn't until I was available, I started that band with those guys and I'm very hurt at how they replaced me while I was touring...it's bullshit." On December 3, the band officially announced that Tyler "Telle" Smith, who was formerly one of the vocalists for In Fear and Faith and bassist for Greeley Estates, joined The Word Alive as their new frontman.
Feeling somewhat stagnant in their progression beforehand, the addition of Smith catapulted the band’s ambitions to the forefront. With this initiation, their goals and aspirations were much more a reality, and they set to work on what would become their record label debut, Empire.
During March 2009, the band were taken in with a contract by a new label, later on during the 26th of that month the group officially confirmed that the label they were then signed to was Fearless Records. Smith stated "We hope to just keep touring, touring, touring... we couldn't be happier or more appreciative to be on tour right now, I think despite having some of the worst luck in the early beginnings of being a touring band yet never missing a show, we always have a positive attitude and that will make us a stronger band." The band set out to create an EP to be released through the label wherein it was titled Empire and was recorded with producer Andrew Wade in Ocala, Florida. It was released on July 21, 2009 where it reached #15 on the Billboard Heatseeker chart.
In regards to the creation of the EP, Smith stated that The Word Alive all "feed off of each other really well, we take a little bit of everything we like and put it together to try and give the listener at least something to grasp onto when they hear a song for the first time. We consider ourselves a metal band who enjoy singing a lot. As much as we love being brutal, we love being referred to as ‘epic’ and ‘beautiful’. It works for us.” After the release of their EP, the band went on multiple tours with bands such as Alesana, A Skylit Drive and Silverstein. The Word Alive headlined with We Came as Romans on the Dreams & Empires tour during the summer of 2009; from late July to mid-August. In October 2009, the band went on tour with Silverstein, Madina Lake and I See Stars. Shorty after that tour they played on the You'd Be Way Cuter in a Coffin Tour with Alesana on The Emptiness Tour which took place during early 2010. The Word Alive's single "Battle Royale" from Empire was hugely successful, leading the song to be featured in the popular Tap Tap series as well as it being featured as downloadable content in the Rock Band series of music games. The track is also featured on the 2010 Vans Warped Tour Compilation and later went onto being credited as the group's signature song.
During February the band reached an agreement to leave founding drummer, Tony Aguilera out of the group. Both parties (Aguilera and the rest of the band) shared their concerns and reasoning for the matter publicly. It was overall described that the band wanted to pursue a different percussionist of alternate talent than the founding member. Aguilera was replaced with Justin Salinas, whom previously was a part of the bands Scars of Tomorrow and Catherine as well as serving as a past live drummer for MyChildren MyBride. On March 23, 2010, a live music video for the song "The Only Rule Is That There Are No Rules" was released and includes Aguilera in its filming, making it the last release of media by the band to feature him. The video premiered on AOL's Noisecreep with a highly positive acclaim:
"Metal-hardcore act the Word Alive have finally unveiled the video for 'The Only Rule Is That There Are No Rules.' 'We couldn't be happier,' vocalist [Tyler Smith] told Noisecreep on the finished look of the band's first video. For the heavy driven track from the sextet's Empire EP, the obvious choice was to bring eyes and ears to their live show -- which has been getting the band quick success for only being a little over a year old. "Our live performance has become a staple of that growth," commented Smith. Rather than having the song play over a performance at the Glasshouse in Pomona, Calif., a full effect approach was taken. 'Our director had the idea of filming the set and intertwining live audio to spice up the clip.'"
In April 2010, The Word Alive entered the studio in Ocala, Florida with Andrew Wade to record their debut full-length album, Deceiver. Frontman Tyler "Telle" Smith noted that "We wanted to step it up in every aspect of our songs compared to Empire. When we're heavy, it's heavier. When we do things big, they are huge! When we slow it down, it's something beautiful." After the recording process of the album was finished, the band accepted to be featured as one of the many performing acts at the Bamboozle Music Festival in New Jersey on May 1, 2010 and following Bamboozle, The Word Alive participated in a headlining tour with Stray from the Path for two weeks, which was also in May.
By June, Deceiver was fully mastered and engineered. On June 23, 2010 the band premiered their first single from the album, "Epiphany" as streaming media online. The following day, Fearless Records released their 2010 Summer Sampler which also featured the track "Epiphany". A week later, the album's album art and track listing was released. Guitarist Zack Hansen explained upon this premiere that "We all felt like that was going to be the best choice considering how comfortable the recording process is with Andrew. The tracking was a lot of fun and everyone had a good time. We got the opportunity to stay in a house while we recorded and surprisingly we didn't party as much as I thought we would haha." Hansen later followed along explaining that his favorite track on the record is "The Hounds of Anubis", which was written by him and Pizzuti and stated that he "wrote this song with an 'Egyptian feel' to it and I think we got our point across." Smith described that its lyrics describe the times of when The Word Alive overcame their hardships that they face with the help and support from their fans. "The Hounds of Anubis" was released as the album's second single on July 26, 2010. It premiered on the official Revolver website.
The Word Alive performed on Warped Tour 2010 along with Alesana, Artist vs. Poet, Sparks the Rescue and Motionless in White, it has also been confirmed that they will as well be participating the 2011 Warped Tour in its entirety. The band were a part of The Anti-Hero Tour where the group performed alongside Bleeding Through, After the Burial, Stray from the Path and Dead & Divine. The tour ran from September to October. Upon Deceiver's release on August 31, it charted at #97 on the Billboard 200. The band is featured in the compilation album Punk Goes Pop 3, covering the Kanye West song "Heartless". The song was produced by Matt Grabe and was released on November 2, 2010. In 2011, the band also recorded a cover version of the Ozzy Osbourne song "Over the Mountain". Both the "Heartless" and "Over the Mountain" covers by the band are the last recorded songs to feature bassist and founding member, Nicholas Urlacher before his departure from the group on December 27, 2010. Daniel Shapiro of Sharks Never Sleep served as a touring member for The Word Alive shortly after Urlacher's leaving. The music video for their song "2012" was released on January 17, 2011 where Shapiro is featured in its recording. Months later, still searching for a bassist and before leading into the summer of 2011, it was then decided on Shapiro becoming a permanent member of the band.
By November of 2011, the band made plans to return to the studio on February 7, 2012 with Joey Sturgis to begin recording their next album, with an expected recording session lasting from that time until mid-March. However by February (and before the date of entering the studio), the announcement of two members leaving occurred; keyboardist, Dusty Riach and drummer, Justin Salinas were simultaneously confirmed to no longer be a part of the band. Salinas stated his reason was because he grew tired of touring, although Riach's reason was preferred to be kept silent.
In regards to the band's second studio album, it was reported that 17 songs were recorded in its process; 13 of which make up the album. The name of the album will be Life Cycles and will be released on July 3rd. On March 23rd of the year, the group issued a statement that 18-year old Arizona resident Luke Holland has joined as the new drummer, however, Holland was not included for the recording sessions of Life Cycles. The drumming for the record was done by a friend of the band named Matt Horn wherein Holland joined after these sessions were already completed. The band's March 31st performance at Las Vegas' Extreme Thing music and sports festival was the first ever live performance with Holland.
Zack Hansen — lead guitar, backing vocals (since 2008)
Tony Pizzuti — rhythm guitar, backing vocals (since 2008)
Tyler "Telle" Smith — lead vocals (since 2008)
Daniel Shapiro — bass guitar (since 2011)
Luke Holland — drums (since 2012)
Craig Mabbitt — lead vocals (2008)
Tony Aguilera — drums (2008–2010)
Nick Urlacher — bass guitar (2008–2010)
Dusty Riach — keyboards (2008–2012)
Justin Salinas — drums (2010–2012)
1. Battle Royale
2. Quit While You're Ahead
3. Casanova Rodeo
4. The Only Rule Is That There Are No Rules
5. Inviting Eyes
6. How To Build An Empire
Deceiver (Deluxe Edition)
1. "The Hounds of Anubis"
3. "The Wretched" (featuring David Stephens of We Came as Romans)
4. "Consider It Mutual"
5. "2012" (featuring Levi Benton of Miss May I)
6. "Dream Catcher"
7. "Like Father Like Son"
8. "Battle Royale"
9. "You're All I See"
10. "We Know Who You Are"
11. "Lights and Stones"
13. "The Wretched (KC Blitz Remix)"
14. "2012 (KC Blitz Remix)"
15. "The Hounds of Anubis (Wes Borland Remix)"
16. "Heartless" (Kanye West cover) [also on "Punk Goes Pop, Vol. 3"]
17. "Over the Mountain" (Ozzy Osbourne cover)
1. "Dragon Spell"
4. "For Your Health"
5. "Bar Fight"
6. "Life Cycles"
8. "Hidden Lakes"
10. "Live a Lie"
12. "Room 126"
13. "Astral Plane"
Empire is quite an impressive debut EP by The Word Alive, and displays some technical work along with everything you would expect of a good Post-Hardcore band.
Mod Edit: Jul 04, 12 1:41pm by EricF
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Aug 31, 09 at 6:18pm ^re: The Word Alive
but to tell you the truth, craigafer was better than telle. telle sounds like a *bleep* and he tries too hard to be craigafer.
Aug 31, 09 at 6:19pm ^re: The Word Alive
Don't get me wrong, I'd have Craig in this band any day of the week, but I think Telle's vocals on Empire are quite good.
Aug 31, 09 at 6:21pm ^re: The Word Alive
Compare Craig's version of Casanova Rodeo and Telle's version, tho.
Aug 31, 09 at 6:26pm ^re: The Word Alive
Well, the screamed vocals, while they aren't by Telle, are better in Telle's version, but Craig's clean vocals probably edge it.
I may have got it wrong about the screamed vocals, the audio quality may be a little poor.
My favourite song remains The Devil Inside though, followed by How To Build An Empire.
Sep 01, 09 at 11:49am ^re: The Word Alive
I liked The Word Alive, can't really say I've listened to any of their stuff since Craig left. Need to make a point of doing so.
I loved Are You On Drugs?
Sep 01, 09 at 11:56am ^re: The Word Alive
Yeah, you should Excellence. Their MySpace is still most likely streaming the EP, but I know for sure that the whole EP is on YouTube.
I would have liked it more had Craig still been in the band, but the tracks still sound good with Telle on vocals.
Sep 01, 09 at 12:04pm ^re: The Word Alive
Telle has a rather impressive CV, though. He's been with Emarosa, Greeley Estates and In Fear and Faith.
Dec 25, 10 at 1:32am ^re: The Word Alive
Jul 03, 12 at 5:43pm ^re: The Word Alive
Bringing this up to date:
New album Deceiver was good, The Hounds of Anubis, 2012, The Wretched, and redo of Battle Royale are good songs. Reissue/Deluxe Edition songs were good, along with the remixes.
New drummer: Luke Holland. Notable by his drum cover videos and one explaining he'd fill in for TWA then they announced that he's permanent.
Life Cycles was released today.
Good songs are: "Wishmaster", "Entirety", and "Life Cycles".
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