Beartooth have always been a cut above the rest of the bands in their scene. With an energy and passion that can only be described as explosive and a frontman in Caleb Shomo who is both enigmatic and vulnerable as well as hugely relatable, it’s no wonder they have such a dedicated fanbase.
Their previous album ‘Aggressive’ widened their scope and sanded down a few of the edges they had shown on their debut ‘Disgusting’ so it was with somewhat baited breath that fans anticipated what would come next. Well the answer is ‘Disease’ the bands third full length album and for my money their best yet.
‘Disease’ is an excerise in pure unfiltered catharsis. It’s no secret that Caleb has suffered with mental health problems over the years, as he has been very outspoken on this subject before, but here he really goes for the throat and puts everything out there for the world to see. It starts with the opening track ‘Greatness or Death’ where he screams “I’m beginning to think I can’t outrun these demons, but you know what they say? SICKNESS IS IN SEASON” that gives you the first sense of what to expect, and it just builds and builds from there.
Every song on here tells its own story. ‘Disease’, ‘Fire’ and ‘Afterall’ have their fair share of clean vocals and have a huge anthemic feel to them, feeling more like rallying cries than just songs. Each of these songs have their tales of being on edge, feeling self doubt and admitting to yourself that you are only human, and it’s ok to have these feelings. There are some spine tingling moments here wrapped in songs that sound like they could knock down skyscrapers.
‘Bad Listener’, ‘Enemy’ and ‘Used and Abused’ veer towards the heavier side of the band with their punk tinged razorwire riffs and Caleb’s throat shredding screams. These tracks will be the ones the bands older fans gravitate towards the most, and they are certain to become moshpit igniting live favourites for years to come.
‘Believe’ and ‘Clever’ are all clean vocals and feature some real heft to them as you can hear and feel every part of what Caleb is singing. They have a more mainstream appeal to them and seem to be more upbeat in tone despite the subject matter which lends them a more life affirming sound and shows a real maturity and growth in the bands writing.
‘Disease’ will go down as Beartooth’s crowning achievement and the moment they came of age. This is a raw, vulnerable and at times chaotic album that has real emotional weight behind it. You can tell upon hearing it that every lyric, every scream and every note played is coming from a place of real emotion, there is an authenticity to it that is lacking from a lot of bands nowadays.
This is an extremely personal and incredibly relatable album that doesn’t pull its punches and cuts a little close to the bone in places, but it feels necessary and rewards the listener over the course of repeated listens. ‘Disease’ will keep you coming back time and time again whether it’s to come and bang your head to its snarling metallic punk jams or to simply just take solace in the albums themes and to take comfort in knowing that someone else out there feels exactly like you do. Beartooth have crafted an album perfectly blends the heavy and the heartfelt that will surely see it sitting atop many people’s end of year lists.
Disease is released September 28th through Red Bull Records.