Of Mice & Men Re-release 'The Flood' With Four New Torrential Tracks
The well laid plans of mice and men often falter. Most interpretations agree on the same principle; that which can be planned to the most cautious detail can still go awry. It’s from this famous quote out of John Steinbeck’s novel that metalcore band Of Mice & Men have defined their title. Of Mice & Men, formed in 2009, have undoubtedly upheld the theme of their moniker through the years, encountering various adversities in the form of internal disputes, lineup changes, and even heart surgeries. However, after three years of navigating stormy waters, it seems the hardcore quartet have finally stepped on level ground.
Following their set at the Warped Tour stop in Mansfield, Mass., Of Mice & Men took a moment to discuss with us past hardships, current achievements, and future endeavors. When asked about the obstacles overcome, drummer Valentino Artega stated, We’re stronger as a whole. Lead guitarist Phil Manansala chimed in, Yeah, I’d say all those things the band have been through have just really built a solid foundation of what we want to do with the band. Despite all the disturbances, OM&M are now focused on the reissue of their second studio album, The Flood, originally released in June of 2011. Front man Austin Carlile, who recently suffered from a viral infection in his heart this past March, told us, We’re doing a re-release of The Flood. It’s four songs, and they’re four really fast, sad, angry, pissed off songs.
The Flood Deluxe Reissue comes with two discs”disc one includes four new songs, disc two contains the original 12 tracks from the The Flood. The album opens with The Calm, an onomatopoetic instrumental of minimal guitar parts, illustrating a tranquil scene with a somber mood. Just under two minutes later, The Calm flows directly into The Storm, which introduces subdued drums, distant vocals, and slightly amplified guitar effects in the same character as its antecedent, building up before dropping into a thunderous temper. Technical Slayer/Slipknot-esque drum parts accompany deep, chugging guitar riffs, and Carlile’s strong mid-range vocal screams. The overall mood of The Storm, The Flood, and The Depths follow the same pattern, with an increasing swell growing between each piece. A submarine sonar sound effect in The Flood implies the feeling of completely sinking into an overwhelming intensity, pulling you deeper and deeper into The Depths. Where The Flood presents dirty riffs, mighty vocals, and heavy breaks, The Depths makes them dirtier, mightier, and heavier still.
Artega describes the influence for this chugging magnitude, We wanted to write a bouncy song to make people jump up and down, and we did it, and they actually do it. It’s sick [laughs]. However, the lyrical themes throughout the three songs carry a much more profound message than he implies. OM&M describe the possible departure of a loved one in The Storm with lyrics [M]any long to breathe, the dead are listening, buried you with my faith, these few last words regret to say. Condemnation emerges as a theme in The Flood where Carlile sings, The world it needs a cleansing, removing all the filth. Wearing your mask of envy, but I see you still. The Depths turns in a slightly different direction, departing from incriminating conviction and instead taking to self-confession and evaluation with the words, I’ve been put down for way too long¦ My body’s failing, I think I’ve hit the floor. I cannot feel anything anymore.
We wanted to make ˜The Flood,’ shut the book on it, close it out, and put it away. Then our third album is going to be completely different. People are gonna hear ˜The Flood’ reissue and go, ˜Oh woah,’ and the next thing you’re gonna hear will be new music, Carlile explains about the reissue. Artega added, What [fans] know and love from Of Mice & Men will be embodied in our third album as well. We definitely listen to our fans, and we’re definitely in tune with the live show and stuff, and we like to write music in that sense. And then the third album, if you like Of Mice & Men now, you’ll like us then too.
The Flood Deluxe Reissue was released on July 24, and you can listen to some of the bonus songs here. OM&M will finish out Warped Tour on August 5 in Portland, Ore., and begin a Europe tour in October. Watch the lyric video for “The Depths” below.