The Word Alive have dropped a surprise new single on us all, entitled "Misery," exhibiting a change in direction and sound for the rockers.  You can read the bands thoughts on the single, and hear it at their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/thewordalive/

For me, I just want to write about it.  It's amazing and I love it, frankly.  However, it also follows a trend in rock music that I've noticed among many different rock bands as time goes on.  Bands may start off heavy, lots of screaming, lots of punk, lots of thrashing on instruments, and slowly but surely transition towards a more radio-friendly, melodic, or harmonious sound while (if they're successful) still encompassing their original intentions.  I've noticed so many bands transition this way as they grow.  The Word Alive however has done it masterfully, moving towards an ambient and harmonious sound, while still maintaining their rocker status and leaving you feeling ominous and dark.  Vocalist Tyler "Telle" Smith showcases both a softer and heavy range, while the blend of instruments make me feel as if I'm in a rock and roll version of The X-Files.  It's also the last song that drummer Luke Holland played on (drummer and long-time TWA friend Matt Horn is currently filling in while the band tours with Asking Alexandria throughout Europe).  To me, I really feel like The Word Alive has made a jump towards a refined, masterful, and unique sound, helping them to stand out in what can be an otherwise saturated market.

Another band that I've noticed has followed this trend is one of my all-time favorites, Bring Me The Horizon.  I'm a HUGE fan of these guys, and in fact, their 2013 album "Sempiternal" is in my Top-10 of all time.  However, fans of the band know that they began with an enormously heavy sound, full of screaming and an almost-rage.  By the time 'Sempiternal' came out, there began to be hints of instrumental blends, electronic sounds, and bits where vocalist Oliver Sykes sings as opposed to holds on to his perfectly on-pitch screams.  When their most recent album, "That's the Spirit," dropped in 2015, I was blown away.  Where there were songs in a row full of screams, I found myself listening to songs showcasing Sykes' falsetto and pitch.  There were songs on the album, such as "Throne," which received heavy radio play and felt reminiscent of Linkin Park's hybrid sound, and other songs on the album such as "Happy Song" that maintained the band's heaviness.  The album finishes with "Oh No" that encompasses a pop sound and even a bit of horn, yet still stays close to the "i'm-staring-at-you-death" style lyrics that Sykes' masters.  Only Bring Me The Horizon can play a song with a pop-sound and still make you feel the cold chill of despair and depression.  I can't wait to see them live March 21st in New York City, and I'm pretty sure I might embarrass myself in the crowd I'm going to lose it that much.

In listening to The Word Alive's new song however, and thinking about all of these band trends and how much music changes as bands evolve, it really popped in my mind how much Nickelback actually stand out to me right now.  Turning the tables, they are one of the fewer bands who have DITCHED their more melodic sound for a heavier style.  In fact, I'm loving their new single, "Feed the Machine," and can only hope that they continue to do what they're doing.

The Word Alive rock Upstate Concert Hall, Credit: Tatiana