Forming in 2003, The Amity Affliction have been one of the most popular and lyrically hard hitting bands in Australia. Known for dark themes of mental illness and suicide, the metalcore/post-hardcore band have been seen as one of the leading advocates for mental health in the scene. Vocalist and songwriter Joel Birch has been very open with his own struggles with depression, and has used the music of the band as an outlet for this.
Over the past 15 years, The Amity Affliction have toured the world and have five albums to their name, including Chasing Ghosts and Let the Ocean Take Me. They’ve released influential and emotionally hard hitting songs, such as the beautifully written “Pittsburgh”, “Open Letter”, “Chasing Ghosts”, “Don’t Lean on Me”, and “Geof Sux 666”. It’s for these reasons that The Amity Affliction have been one of the most beloved bands in the country for years.
“I could be your doomsday
I could be your worst ever nightmare”
Adding to their discography, The Amity Affliction have announced their first album since 2016’s This Could Be Heartbreak. Misery, is slated for release on August 24 via Roadrunner Records. If the first single “Ivy (Doomsday)” is anything to go by, we can expect a completely new sound for the band.
While lyrically less complex than other songs, “Ivy (Doomsday)” is still enjoyable. We’re taken into the first-person perspective of someone who considers themselves a ‘doomsday’ influence on the life of another; a negative presence that draws them down into a place devoid of lightness. The lyrical metaphor of ivy does well to reflect the aggressive and smothering approach this person has, where little remains of the original form once completely overwhelmed by the force of the vines.
Musically, clean vocalist Ahren seems to be stepping into a much larger role with the band as the track focuses a lot more on melodies, with the verses consisting of soft clean vocals, unlike the regular heavy screams that Joel brings to the table. It’s not hard to hear influences from Bring Me The Horizon here, who’ve made the sound of metalcore daubed with electronic samples and chorus intensity their very own. The Amity Affliction try it on for size in “Ivy (Doomsday)”, using the gentler moments to share promises of the dire experiences to come, and hard-hitting choruses to inflict the force.
The new music has come in conjunction with what is promised to be a three-video series, lending a cinematic grittiness to the mostly polished track. Directed by Ryan Mackfall, the video for “Ivy (Doomsday)” takes us to the 80s, where a pub confrontation and subsequent attack lands Joel Birch’s character in jail. Already in under 8 minutes we’re getting to understand the characters and the set up of further crimes to come, courtesy of artful shots and confronting action.
It’ll be interesting to see what comes next from The Amity Affliction as we edge closer to the 24th August. Pre-orders for Misery are available now: https://RoadrunnerRecords.lnk.to/misery