Beartooth – Disease album review

Beartooth make another leap towards the mainstream with Disease

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Disease

1. Greatness Or Death
2. Disease
3. Fire
4. You Never Know
5. Bad Listener
6. Afterall
7. Manipulation
8. Enemy
9. Believe
10. Infection
11. Used And Abused
12. Clever

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At just 25 years old, Caleb Shomo has more records in his discography than some musicians manage to churn out in an entire career. With the release of Disease he has established himself as a Swiss watch-reliable triple-threat: writer, producer and performer. An album every two years, each building on the success of the last as he aims for the heights of the metal world. 

Those singulars aren’t an accident; Beartooth may be a band onstage but on record it’s all Caleb. It’s an outlet for the vision of a singular creative mind and with this, Beartooth’s third album, his ambitions have become clear. The sharp, processed sonics and growled vocals of 2014’s Disgusting and 2016’s Aggressive are mostly gone, replaced by a more organic, radio-ready sound.

Under the watchful eye of executive producer Nick Raskulinecz – one of the architects of Foo Fighters’ ascent to stadiums around the world – Caleb’s sense for melody and obvious love of Southern rock come to the fore. 

Songs like Afterall (co-written with Good Charlotte’s Joel Madden!) and You Never Know might not go down well with the death-to-all-but-metal crowd, but seem precision-crafted to win Beartooth fans from far outside the genre within which they made their name. In fact, it’s when Beartooth lapse back into the generic conventions of metalcore, as on Bad Listener, that they’re at their least interesting. 

At its best, Disease manages to find a middle ground between the Foos and Every Time I Die – radio anthems with heavy, groove-driven riffs, and lacking the try-hard electronic components of so many of Caleb’s less-competent peers. 

This could be a divisive album – it occasionally feels unwilling to fully commit to heaviness or accessibility – but the smart money is on it being a very successful one. This is a convincing step towards the mainstream for one of our most promising young acts.

For Fans Of: Bury Tomorrow, Of Mice & Men, Northlane