On their third full-length, Phoenix metalcore veterans The Word Alive perfect the sound they’ve crafted since their formation in 2008. The first track “Play the Victim” captures the album’s many strengths: heavy rhythms, tasty riffs, well-crafted arrangements, and the soaring vocals of Tyler “Telle” Smith. Other standouts include “Never Forget” and “Glass Castle,” which both underscore the strength of the songwriting on the album. Real demonstrates that, even as the group’s chosen subgenre has lost the trendiness it possessed in the ’00s, metalcore can still sound fresh and exciting when done right. DAVID McKENNA
Check out "Play the Victim" from Real.