As has been true of their previous releases (at least in my expeience), The Plot in You have dropped an album without an ounce of fanfare in the process. Not a trailer, not an ad, nothing. I wouldn't even have known they existed if I hadn't happened upon their debut album in a record store display case highlighting staff pick releases. I recall maybe hearing the single? But it came and went so fast that the whole thing dropped off my radar. Fortunately, with the holidays and end of the year looming, traffic has slowed enough for me to begin reflecting on bands I may not have yet covered.
Say what you will about the current state of metalcore, or the genre in general, but there are still a few rays of light out there. In this particular halfway point between metalcore and post-hardcore, I still have a special place in my heart for groups like Underoath, and I was actually quite blown away by Architect's album in 2014 (also reviewed here on the site). If you toss in a bit of Periphery's later output, you can get a pretty good handle on what The Plot in You sounds like. And for those who are already familiar, there is little reason current fans won't like Happiness in Self Destruction.
I would go so far as to say that The Plot in You and Within the Ruins are probably the last groups to come out of the scene in the last few years that I enjoy. While the mass majority wallow in eye makeup and autotune, These guys can still bring something legitimate to the table. The lyrics at times can still come off as a bit preachy or cheesy at times, but they are nothing if not earnest. There is a level of passion to these vocals, whether they be deep death growls or a soothing falsetto, that I can get behind. Those like me who have fond memories associated with listening to They're Only Chasing Safety should feel a level of notalgia.
But for all of its enjoyability, there's not much else going on. This album does not feel quite as heavy as the previous ones, and even the crunchier djent moments feel like a retread. Everyone plays well, songs don't overstay their welcome, and I am entertained...but there's not much more to say beyond that. Like my impression of Lamb of God and Black Dahlia Murder this year, this is that bag of potato chips you know you don't really need to get out of the cabinet, but once it's out you can't stop the binge. Metal comfort food. Those gang vocals on "My Old Ways" leave all sorts of delicious greasey, salty residue on my fingers.
So if you like the style, love the band, or were just looking for some really emotive metal that doesn't quite cross the line into groupy fangirl territory; Happiness in Self Destruction is a pretty solid bet. If you want something a little more technical, I also recommend you check out Architects. The Plot in You's back catalog is worthwile as well. You can hear the whole album via Youtube below.