Music Reviews

Poison the Well

You Come Before You


I always find it amusing when a band known for being overtly aggressive and off-putting makes the leap to a major label like Atlantic Records. It’s incredible to me that Poison the Well are now label mates with the likes of Jewel and Lil’ Kim… whatever. I am happy to say, though, that not only is Poison the Well a stronger band on You Come Before You, but their sound has evolved into something much more devastating and threatening than the chugga chugga of their years past.

Poison the Well’s sound is much cleaner here, I’m guessing due to a better recording budget. The lead vocalist’s screams are clear and crisp, making his actual singing seem warmer and more impacting. The guitars are absolutely incredible, as the dynamic between the angular melodies and discordantly scraping hard parts have never sounded better; the guitarists have really stolen the show on You Come Before You, as if they’re saying “we can do much more than chugga a lugga!” At times, I was reminded of a more metal version of Drive Like Jehu, with a lot tougher vocals.

Poison the Well die-hards might have some trouble getting used to this at first, but if they’re willing to stick around and give it a few listens, I think they’ll discover just how well done it is. The song structures are complex and much darker, and bleak chord progressions are used, making for a rather downtrodden and moody listen. Poison the Well is on a major label now, but they’ve only become stronger and tighter for it. But I am concerned as to whether or not they can sell enough records to keep the major label big wigs happy… only time will tell.

Atlantic Records:

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