Of Mice & Men's Tether: another assured, mature offering from one of modern metalcore's most reliable names

Of Mice & Men continue to grow and evolve, and Tether is another top tier example of that

Of Mice & Men
(Image: © Press)

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Of Mice & Men have endured a lot of change since their inception in 2009, but they seem to get stronger at every turn. After parting ways with not one but two beloved vocalists in Shayley Bourget and Austin Carlile, they could have easily thrown in the towel. But since stepping up to the challenge of filling the void as lead vocalist in 2016, bassist Aaron Pauley has breathed new life into the band.

Aaron’s effect on OM&M’s eighth album – and the fourth with him as frontman – is particularly special, whether he’s in melodic or aggressive mode. Into The Sun is a satisfying blast of stadium rock, Eternal Pessimist is deliciously vicious, and Enraptured has an unexpectedly strong Tool vibe to it. However, it’s the gentle, gripping title track that steals the show this time around. It builds and soars beautifully, and Aaron’s voice is perfectly emotive throughout.

Tether does an impressive job of revealing the band’s growth while still being comfortingly authentic to their familiar, distinctive sound. The quartet self-produced and engineered all the songs on this release, Aaron mixed and mastered the album, and drummer Tino Arteaga designed and painted the album’s artwork. Clearly, they put their all into this, and it comes across in their powerful fretwork, the thoughtful lyrics, and the experimental sounds woven in and out of the songs.

Indigo and closing track Zephyros are a touch too ethereal, but it’s hard to deny that these tracks still do a stellar job of neatly wrapping up the album. They’re a reminder that Of Mice & Men are as deliberate in their choice of track order and album cohesion as they are in their songwriting, and it makes for a powerfully immersive journey.