Out Now: Every Time I Die’s ‘Radical,’ a Pummeling Master Class in Heaviness (Both Musical and Lyrical)

Adrian GarroCategories:Latest News

Rock Cellar Magazine

Buffalo, New York-based metal/hardcore veterans Every Time I Die have always used their music as a means of cathartic expression, vocalist Keith Buckley’s thoughtful and inventive lyrics pairing with the band’s endlessly aggressive musical attack.

Radical is the ninth studio album from the band, having been released on Oct. 22 via Epitaph Records. The record is a masterclass in resilience, which has managed to maintain its focused fury for more than two decades, long outliving some of its peers from the early 2000s.

Holding up a mirror to our own collective experience in light of the state of the world, Radical features songs like “Planet Shit,” which begins with these words:

Coming live from planet shit
Our only hope was in a murdered kid
The one god we had went off the grid
No future with a racist past
Oh, but we can’t acknowledge that
So we burn a cross and pray to a flag

Click here to pick up Radical on CD from our Rock Cellar Store
Click here to pre-order Radical on 2-LP from our Rock Cellar Store

“A Colossal Wreck” takes its name from the poem “Ozymandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelley, and is an indictment of mankind in general. As Buckley said of the track (via Genius):

“Obviously, we’re being ignored by whatever higher power has been looking out for us since the dawn of time. It’s time to realize that we need to make some serious peace here with whatever is running the show because we really fucked it up.”

Despite the bleak and harsh lyrics of most of these songs, Radical isn’t really supposed to be a reactionary response to the political climate of the past five years or so — that would be too easy, too simple. Instead, it’s most effective when considered to be focusing on the human experience and what we can all do to press forward, rather than backward:

“I’m dealing with difficult matters this time that isn’t only personal for me but are also universal and more communal experiences,” said Buckley in a statement. “The songs are realistic in that they acknowledge that things require a lot of work. But it’s ultimately a very hopeful and uplifting record.”

“Thing With Feathers” is a dedication to Buckley’s sister, Jaclyn, who passed away from a long illness in 2017. Per Genius, its title is a reference to Emily Dickinson’s “Hope is the Thing with Feathers,” the song taking on a powerful tone of hope in Jaclyn’s memory:

In the long dark night of eternal life, shine on
Shine on
You’ve always been
You’ve always been a light

The riffage behind “White Void” is almost Black Sabbath-ian, its lyrics urging change and the end of complacency:

I could change if you’d like
But I think you’d like nothing better
Hope is wasting our time
When the waiting goes on forever

“Distress Rehearsal” is a crisp distillation of the album’s focus, from Buckley’s lyrics to the song’s pounding riffage, arguably among the band’s heaviest, most disquieting songs to date:

I thought my heart would break
I thought it would break but it started healing
It was more than I could take
So I gave it everything

Every Time I Die has is as focused and committed to vision as it’s ever been with Radical, perhaps the most complete album in the band’s heralded career. It’s crushingly heavy and highlighted by chunky, pummeling riffs from Jordan Buckley and Andy Williams, the thrashed-out frenetic energy spread across 16 songs that do not quit.

This is a record meant for repeat visits — just make sure you take the time out to really listen to what the band has to say.

Catch Every Time I Die on the road in the months ahead:

11/4 Columbus, OH The King of Clubs
11/5 Grand Rapids, MI The Pyramid Scheme
11/6 St Louis, MO Red Flag
11/7 Iowa City, IA Gabe’s
11/8 Omaha, NE The Waiting Room
11/9 Lawrence, KS Granada Theater (KS)
11/11 Fort Collins, CO The Coast
​11/11 Colorado Springs, CO The Black Sheep
11/13 Grand Junction, CO Mesa Theater
11/15 El Paso, TX Lowbrow Palace
11/16 Roswell, NM The Liberty, Inc.
11/19 Austin, TX The Parish
11/20 Austin, TX The Parish
11/22 Corpus Christi, TX House of Rock
11/23 Baton Rouge, LA Chelsea’s Live
11/26 Jacksonville, FL 1904
11/27 Miami, FL Gramps
11/28 West Palm Beach, FL Respectable Street
11/29 Orlando, FL The Abbey
11/30 Orlando, FL The Abbey
12/2 Asheville, NC The Grey Eagle
12/3 Huntington, WV The Loud
12/4 Richmond, VA The Broadberry
12/5 Virginia Beach, VA Elevation 27

12/10-11 Buffalo, NY ‘TID The Season

2022 supporting Underoath
2/18 Dallas, TX Southside Ballroom
2/19 Houston, TX Bayou Music Center
2/20 San Antonio, TX The Aztec Theatre
2/23 Phoenix, AZ The Van Buren
2/24 Los Angeles, CA The Wiltern
2/25 Anaheim, CA House of Blues
2/26 San Francisco, CA The Warfield
2/28 Seattle, WA Showbox SODO
3/1 Vancouver, BC The Vogue Theater
3/2 Spokane, WA Knitting Factory
3/4 Salt Lake City, UT The Complex
3/5 Denver, CO The Ogden Theatre
3/7 Minneapolis, MN The Fillmore
3/8 Chicago, IL Radius
3/9 Detroit, MI The Fillmore
3/11 Toronto, ON History
3/12 Cleveland, OH Agora
3/13 Wallingford, CT The Dome
3/14 Boston, MA House of Blues
3/15 Pittsburgh, PA Stage AE
3/17 Brooklyn, NY Brooklyn Steel
3/18 Silver Spring, MD The Fillmore
3/19 Philadelphia, PA The Fillmore
3/20 Sayreville, NJ Starland Ballroom
3/22 Cincinnati, OH ICON
3/23 Charlotte, NC The Fillmore
3/25 Atlanta, GA Tabernacle

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