Motionless In White: Creatures Review

The electronicore genre has been largely met with skepticism and aversion, and bands like Motionless In White are a big reason why. Not because MIW isn’t good or because they don’t offer a unique take on post-hardcore, but because the pure brutality of the heavier elements is often overwhelming when paired up with lighter clean vocals and synth-driven choruses. With their debut album Creatures, Motionless In White makes their distinct and confrontational style of music clear from the opening song, throwing in little variety but giving those with an ear for electronicore an engaging experience. The overarching theme of the undead seems overdone at times, but certainly makes for some cool moments, especially when set to the usual backdrop of Chris Cerulli’s merciless screams, Angelo Parente’s rapid-fire drumming, Joshua Balz’s superb synths and blazing guitar riffs from Ryan Sitkowski and TJ Bell. However, despite the intimidating and heavy post-hardcore sound, Cerulli’s crisp clean vocals balance things out for lighter choruses that prevent Creatures from being dominated by its own brutality and combative message. In the end, Motionless In White will likely be too much for some to handle, but those who can stomach hardcore will find something to enjoy here.

Standout Tracks

The gritty, intense and confrontational “Immaculate Misconception” opens Creatures on a heavy yet enjoyable note. Those confused about Motionless In White’s status as a satanic band may be confused by what this leadoff track has to offer, but examining the lyrics reveals they are certainly not devil worshippers; in fact, this opener demands tolerance and preaches about the hypocrisy of those who judge others in the name of their religion, shown best by Cerulli’s unrelenting growls of “Open your mind before your mouth.” Cerulli’s screams, string-dominated synth beats, erratic drumming and fast-paced guitar riffs dominate the hard verses, but as usual, pitch-perfect clean vocals balance things out in a lighter chorus.

Complete with a foreboding Dracula quote to kick things off, “We Only Come Out At Night” easily wins the title of best song of Creatures. It also contains the most captivating individual moment of the entire album, as Cerulli bellows “Cry little sister and save these / And save these lost boys / Thou shalt not fall / Be one of us” to a wicked synth backdrop. Cerulli’s vocal brilliance shines during each chorus, while Richard Olson’s solid bass hooks may get lost amidst the rest of the fast-paced drumming and guitar riffs.

“Count Choculitis” showcases Balz’s talent on the keyboards and synthesizers, jumpstarting this track with an in-your-face, pump-up synth melody enforced by rocking guitars and brutal drumming. Cerulli doesn’t shy away from the chance to lend to the hardcore mood with blood-curdling growls, further enhancing the song’s epic and heavy nature. “Count Choculitis” suffers from a lack of direction at times, but the incredible intro gives it just enough momentum to engage the listener until the end.

The Verdict

Although all post-hardcore music can only be accessed by a fan base with the stomach for it, Motionless In White slightly narrows this group even further with intense unclean vocals and the recurring themes of the undead , judgement and hell. It’s not satanic music by any means, but the drama of this concept album certainly makes for some heavy and foreboding moments. However, Cerulli’s superb clean vocals keep things from getting too far out of hand, and once one understands the central theme of hypocrisy behind all the undead symbolism, Creatures actually comes off as enlightened, albeit aggressive, music. Fans of My Ticket Home, Miss May I, In Fear And Faith, The Word Alive, Memphis May Fire, Blessthefall, Asking Alexandria and Like Moths To Flames will be able to stomach Motionless In White and their angsty message of tolerance. Creatures serves as a giant middle finger to those who condemn anyone who’s different in the name of established religion, which combines with some severe breakdowns and enjoyably melodious choruses to make for a fine debut.

Final Score: 7.6/10

Rank: 2nd (two total albums)

Track List

  1. Immaculate Misconception
  2. We Only Come Out At Night
  3. London In Terror
  4. Abigail
  5. Creatures
  6. Cobwebs
  7. .Com Part II
  8. Count Choculitis
  9. City Lights
  10. Puppets (The First Snow)
  11. Undead Ahead
  12. Scissorhands (The Last Snow)


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