The last two years have been rather rocky for Texas In July. The Pennsylvania-based metalcore act’s longtime guitarist and vocalist both left the band to pursue other interests, leaving the remaining members at a crossroad. Many bands who replace a vocalist or lead guitarist often find themselves losing fans or producing less popular music, but Texas In July’s latest release, Bloodwork, is audible proof against this longstanding notion. The newcomers, vocalist JT Cavey and guitarist Cam Welsh have effectively breathed fresh life into the band. Texas In July is back at it and better than ever.
The album kicks off with a bang and the track “Broken Soul” will command your attention from the get go. JT Cavey shows off his immense vocal range, growling perfectly over bouncy riffs and heavy chugs. The record’s single is next, and “Sweetest Poison” features the catchiness one would expect from Texas In July with the added element of technicality and lyrics that effortlessly capture the band’s fresh start, further securing their place as a force to be reckoned with in the metalcore scene.
The track “Defenseless” is rather short but certainly sweet as it hits the ground running with shout-along lyrics followed by deliciously daring riffs. The band continues to show off their artistry with the unexpected instrumental track “Decamilli” that is progressive, technical, and even beautiful. The drum work is utterly impressive, and Adam Gray shows off his bangin’ skills with a stellar solo. This adrenaline rush does not fade as it is followed by yet another solo of the guitar variety that is also mind blowingly complex and heavy, earning Cam Welsh his stripes in my book.
The record ends with the title track, which fully encompasses the sheer brutality and ingenuity that Bloodwork bares throughout. With changing tempos, an aggressive guitar solo and gallant riffing, the album concludes victoriously.
Bloodwork is a bold statement that proves that everything happens for a reason, and change can in fact be for the best. This aggressively daring album is everything a metalcore fan didn’t know they needed. The album features more technical guitar work than I would expect from the band and cohesive song writing throughout that is still skull-smashingly heavy. Texas In July shows that they have taken a tumultuous two years and grown from it as musicians.