Of Mice & Men - Unbreakable

by: Mary Welch

We were all devastated last December to hear that ex-Of Mice & Men vocalist Austin Carlile was going to leave the band due to health issues, and I still am heartbroken when I think of it.  Although Carlile’s absence in Of Mice has lead the other band members into a new era, it warms the hearts of fans to know that they are still fighting to keep the energy alive.

“Unbreakable” is Of Mice & Men’s first track without Carlile and was released yesterday.  Surprised of such news, I could not have been any more excited to listen to it.  Of Mice & Men mean a lot to me considering they are one of the first hardcore bands I ever discovered.  With my first listen, I was blown away by how much heavier it is in comparison to previous work.  The optimistic lyrics gave me the impression that even without Carlile, the band still keeps their sense of control and remains as secure as ever.

Vocalist Aaron Pauley’s beautiful vocals on top of the brutal guitars had me headbanging along with the beat of the song.  What Pauley brings to the table is no longer only his clean vocals, but his deep screams in the verses which contribute to the heavy tone of “Unbreakable.”

Something I have always enjoyed about Of Mice & Men’s songs is the crystal-clear quality of the drums played by Valentino Arteaga.  His gift of drumming stands out; his extraordinary effort does not go unnoticed.  Having seen them perform live before, it’s safe to say Arteaga makes it very high up on my list of most talented musicians, if not at the top.  Also, the new mohawk is pretty cool.

It appears that no matter what direction the band takes, they are always one step ahead of the rest.  I have a strong feeling I will always enjoy whatever Of Mice & Men put out and hope others will as well.  While continuing to listen to their past albums such as “Restoring Force” and “Cold World,” other singles and eventually a full-length album will be anticipated by Of Mice & Men fans.

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