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  • First Reaction: Of Mice & Men – "Restoring Force: Full Circle"

    Wed, 04 Feb 2015 13:27:11

    First Reaction: Of Mice & Men – "Restoring Force: Full Circle" - By ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino...

    Mike Shinoda Photos

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    When Restoring Force hit last year, it cemented Of Mice & Men as one of hard rock's most important and impactful entities. The album tempered succinct and sharp musicality with a dual-vocal assault that instantly engaged and entranced as if Austin Carlile and Aaron Pauley picked up Mike Shinoda and Chester Bennington's Hybrid Theory torch and added a nuclear warhead to it. The expanded edition of the album expands upon that dynamic further as guitarists Phil Manansala and Alan Ashby also impressive and ignite a barrage of barreling riffs punctuated by Valentino Arteaga's ironclad percussion. Fans get four flawless new tracks to hold them over until the group inevitably delivers Restoring Force's follow-up.

    As for those songs, "Broken Generation" couples tight fretwork with an unshakable refrain, touting a massive melody. "Something to Hide" hops into a bouncy groove punctuated by just the right amount of metallic prowess before the final resounding chant on the hook. However, the best of the new material and one of the band's most powerful cuts yet "Never Giving Up" taps further into their ethereal side with an undeniably haunting refrain that sears and soars. It's got major wings, and it really takes flight. Finally, Restoring Force: Full Circle includes a stripped down acoustic take on "Feels Like Forever," which illuminates just how diverse they really are.

    Force restored last year, and now Of Mice & Men assert their dominance with three essential new anthems. It still only feels like the beginning...

    Rick Florino
    02.04.15


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    Tags: Of Mice & Men, Austin Carlile, Aaron Pauley, Mike Shinoda, Chester Bennington, Phil Manansala, Alan Ashby, Valentino Arteaga

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