June 7th: Scranton, Pennsylvania rockers Motionless in White (stylized and abbreviated as MiW) released their 5th studio album “Disguise.” Following the commercial success of 2015’s “Graveyard Shift” and a shake-up to their line-up, this highly anticipated album shows the growth, diversity, and influences of the core band members.
Though labeled “heavy metal” and “hard rock,” perhaps a better label for MiW is nu-nu metal. The entire album creates vivid flashbacks and shows references to the nu-metal bands of the 90s and early 00s that served as inspiration for the band. This coupled with the varying musical tastes of band members and extremely poignant lyrics by lead singer, Chris Motionless, shows their true ingenuity.
Changes to the Line-Up
In January of 2017, it was announced that long-time member Josh Balz (keyboardist) announced that he would be departing the band after 10 years. He cited that he wanted to devote more time to his oddities parlor, “The Strange and Unusual.”
In May of 2018, it was announced that long time bassist Devin “Ghost” Sola would also be departing from the band. This announcement came around the time that many rumors surrounding Sola’s sexual involvement with underage girls surfaced via the internet (though nothing was every proven). Sola, however, released a statement citing mental health issues. Former member TJ Bell stepped in for the remaining tour dates.
TJ Bell was later replaced by Ice Nine Kills bassist Justin Morrow. This official announcement was made in May 2019, though Morrow played shows with the band towards the end of 2018.
Recording and Releasing “Disguise”
Days after Sola announced his departure from MiW, Chris Motionless announced that he, along with Ricky “Horror” Olson and Ryan Sitkowski, would return to the studio to begin recording the follow-up to “Graveyard Shift.”
Prior to the release of the full album “Disguise,” MiW treated fans to several different tracks from the album. The title track “Disguise” and “Brand New Numb” were the first two tracks released (within days of each other). A month later, “Undead Ahead 2: The Tale of the Midnight Ride” and its video were released. Just days before the album dropped, “Thoughts & Prayers” was released via the BBC Radio 1 Rock Show.
MTV: Musings, Tracks, and Videos
4.”Thoughts & Prayers”4:01
6.”Undead Ahead 2: The Tale of the Midnight Ride”4:34
7.”Holding on to Smoke”4:14
9.”Broadcasting from Beyond the Grave: Death Inc.”3:54
10.”Brand New Numb”3:42
“Headache” harkens back to a mixture of Korn and Linkin Park. The screamings of “Shut up/Shut up/ Shut up” and the turn-table scratchings highlight and fuse the inspirational nu-metal groups that helped pave the way for MiW.
“<c/0de>” touches on the idea of FOMO and the creation of the community which MiW thrives. The chorus is extremely catchy.
“Undead Ahead 2: Tale of the Midnight Ride” retells the harrowing story of The Headless Horseman in Washington Irvings “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”
“Legacy” and “Catharsis” continue the anthems for the outsiders than identify with MiW. Motionless and Co. have been strong supporters and believers in being true to yourself. They have also embraced their fan-base whole-heartedly. (As is evident in “570” of “Graveyard Shift.”
After “Graveyard Shift” and a successful line-up change, it appears that MiW have finally found their stride. “Disguise” is an album that should definitely be embraced. If you love bands like Linkin Park, Korn, Limp Bizkit, and Slipknot, this is the album for you. Every song drips with the stylings and musings of these greats… but with a MiW twist. Plus, who doesn’t want to hear Chris Motionless scream his favorite word “Blegh”?!
– Katie Newray
For more on Motionless In White check out: