My Missing Half – Ceaseless Decay (Self-Released)

Sunday, 7th June 2020
Rating: 9.5/10

Even in extreme genres, consumers expect a certain level of quality once reaching approval on the songwriting or live fronts. We crave aggression in a controlled, memorable form of chaos – desiring to process the musical information again and again to get that physical or emotional need satisfied that metal provides long-term. Massachusetts-based My Missing Half have been serving up solid melodic death metal with metalcore nuances since their 2011 inception – now arriving at their second full-length with Ceaseless Decay. The band’s first recording with second guitarist Nick Petrino (Dee Snider, ex-Sonic Pulse), it’s apparent that the time away between their last EP recording in 2016 A Proper Hangman’s Knot and this ten-track outing has been spent sharpening the collective blades of tighter transitions, wider dynamics, plus constructing stronger arrangements that create more meaningful, indelible hooks than ever before.

Between Bijan Hennessey and Nick wielding dual harmonies and fierce rhythms at frantic paces, it’s obvious these musicians straddle the lines of American-like aggression against the Scandinavian brigade who know where to inject those sick melodies that stay embedded in your brain and body forever. Check out the work in “Before Waves and Rock Catch Me” – especially the slower touches during the chorus while the kick drums are going at hyper-speed pace, but then the spiderweb twin licks circle in and out to create this additional energy kick that fans of older In Flames or current Insomnium will savor. Then the band will twist into a bit of some semi-djent/ Gojira measures for “Postponing Recovery” during the beginning moments before the melodic death metal cat and mouse chase begins, Bijan delivering his known growls and screams with searing intensity. Smartly placing an ambient instrumental “1451mg” midway through the record gives the listeners a brief 1:51 reprieve from the blasting melodic death metal nature present – as “Nail My Coffin Shut” is another brilliant example of My Missing Half finding that perfect groove/hook combination, locking in, and then launching into aggressive propulsive mode while heads swirl in unison to the proceedings, or bodies launch against each other or upward when listening at peak volumes across live stages.

By the time the final salvo “What’s Left from the Wreckage” concludes, you feel exhilaration at the 37 minutes that tear you limb from limb while injecting the right amount of key musical hooks that make melodic death metal so special. Ceaseless Decay is the pinnacle My Missing Half record – standing on par with many well-established bands of the genre, so if you love melodic death metal with that American aggression on top, make a beeline for this effort.

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