Everlasting, the second full-length from Germany’s Any Given Day, is a technically proficient metalcore record that embraces the genre’s defining characteristics. The riffs on this record are precise and crisp, while dipped in effects that make the overall sound raunchy as hell. Strong parallels exist between the prominent heavier tones on this record and the riffs and tones of bands like Emmure and Meshuggah.
Like many metalcore frontmen before him, Dennis Diehl can use his voice to embody both good and evil. His deliberate and rhythmic screams sound like the commandments of an angry god. His clean vocals sound hopeful, perhaps because the bands’ consistent “posi” message is easier to decipher when he sings versus when he’s screaming. Unsurprisingly, the lyrics on this record embrace hardcore’s ability to boil down complex emotional responses into simple and sometimes cliched mantras about overcoming the harshness of existence.
The album opens with 80s-inspired synths, whose tone sound corny at first, but something about the chords used effectively foreshadows the darkness the rest of this record is clouded in. The way the synths are used sparingly on Everlasting and the ominous but beautiful tones created with them are easily my favorite parts of this record. There’s also a substantial amount of legitimate and consistent corniness on this record, something I think is inevitable with Any Given Day’s brand of metalcore, but it’s refreshing to find that somehow, their use of keyboards isn’t the culprit.
When metal bands sound as catchy as this, it’s pretty much a given that they’re influenced by subgenres like glam metal and also ones unrelated to metal, like pop. Unfortunately, on this record these stylistic additions have a way of creating an unflattering contrast. Pairing glam metal with something like hardcore, a genre birthed partly as a reaction to a distaste for glam, makes the song’s darker and more serious moments harder to take seriously. To some degree these moments are redeemed by the band’s severe technicality.
Their musical chops are impressive on a physical level, but it does nothing to make their sound more original, which is my biggest axe to grind with Any Given Day. Bands that sound like this had a boom in popularity in the early aughts, and as a young metalhead I was on board all the way. The problem is, while bands like Any Given Day pay beautiful homage to that original sound, they do nothing to innovate it. I by no means think all bands owe innovation to the genre they ascribe to, but as someone who’s been listening to metalcore since its rise and through its mainstream fall, without some progression or challenge to the form I find records like this very dull. The generally repetitive tone of the songs on this album do nothing to alleviate that. While some songs are clearly heavier and less melodic than others, that is as much differentiation offered over Everlasting’s laborious twelve songs. At least the title attempts to warn you.
Written by Brian Charles Clarke
*edited by Kate Erickson