It’s never a great feeling to see a creative band struggle to find its identity. It’s even more painful when the band is so close to getting the formula right, but just can’t seem to put in the extra effort to connect the pieces. Perhaps Halfway Human is a more apt title than it initially sounds for Within the Ruins’s fifth album. Halfway to perfection, and entirely human with its flaws. Shining beacons of brilliance stuffed in between songs seemingly written in auto-pilot make this an enjoyable, yet disappointing experience.
Do you like deathcore? My condolences. Oh, I’m just kidding. There are some good bands in the genre. On an unrelated note (truly), there’s a new Within the Ruins song and a playthrough as well. Also, Born of Osiris are redoing their debut plus a new song, and the new Aversions Crown is great. We also discovered some more Season of Mist stuff, namely Replacire. Nergal of Behemoth’s new project Me And That Man is, well, interesting. Then we get incensed about people getting incensed about bands applying new funding and marketing models. Then we discuss why vocals are the main off-putting thing for a lot of people, and on that note, how avant-garde bands aren’t really that avant-garde. Enjoy!
I actually wanted to title the episode ” If I call this episode ‘Why isn’t Cinematic Metal a thing?’ surely someone will point me to some obscure Spanish power metal band that calls themselves Cinematic Metal so I won’t” but that would probably be too long for iTunes. Eden healthy…
There comes a point in each genre when it reaches a point. The point where it seems like the genre is just done. That one album releases which encapsulates everything the genre tried to achieve, and then takes it a step further. Sometimes this is the birth of a new genre, but sometimes it’s simply one excellent album. Shokran’s debut full length Supreme Truth was not that album for progressive deathcore. It was a great album, one of the best in the genre. Combining elements from Within the Ruins and Born Of Osiris’s sound, Middle Eastern influences and a more grandiose sound; it was a strong play from a band looking to put themselves on the map. Two years, a guitarist departure and a vocalist change later, we have Exodus. Does this album qualify for that description? Maybe it does.
This week we (mostly I) run a terrible pun to the ground, just like deathcore bands have run breakdowns to the ground. You’ll see what I mean. Or hear. New music: Black Crown Initiate, Kamelot, Perturbator, Within the Ruins, Inter Arma, Devildriver, Vektor, The Fall of Troy, If These Trees Could Talk, Downfall of Gaia, Slaughter to Prevail and… Death Grips. Then we talk about negative reviews, what a review should be and how one should respond to reviews; then we talk about, yes, breakdowns. Then it all breaks down.
Spanish progressive deathcore masters The Raven Autarchy dropped a sick album last year, and they’re already back with a new single! Channeling the best aspects of giants like Within the Ruins, After the Burial and Veil of Maya, they’ve created yet another powerhouse of a track. Without further ado, I present to you “Inanimate”!
When in the studio, musicians always use some “tricks” to get a sound that isn’t necessarily as achievable in a live setting. This is a pretty commonly known fact. It’s not even a new thing. Since the 60s, bands have made music in the studio that doesn’t reflect the process of how they actually play in person. As technology develops, more methods become available to the artists to achieve a more “perfect” sound, if they choose to use them. In the 50s and before, bands recorded performances together, in a single run through. Then they started recording each instrument separately, then split up songs into parts, then replaced some instruments with digital substitutes, used corrective techniques (both for pitch and timing) and recently, started performing at a slower tempo then speeding it up. These are the realities of recording. Whether they’re acceptable or not is a hotly debated topic, and a recent even in the metal spheres brought the question to the forefront yet again. The 2016 Guitar Solo Contest, where guitarists were asked to perform over a track by John Browne of Monuments and submit a video of their recording, recently announced their winners. The prizes ranged from a Mayones guitar, Mesa amps, Bare Knuckle Pickups and more. Here’s where it gets complicated. One of the winners was a performance that was clearly heavily edited.
Atlantis Chronicles’ second LP reads at times like a play-by-play of the prog deathcore happenings of the last half-decade, but far from being stale, it injects new life into these tropes and makes for a breath of fresh air in the low-and-slow miasma that most of deathcore sticks to nowadays. Occasionally hindered by how safely these gentlemen stick to their pool of influences, Barton’s Odyssey is nevertheless an energetic, fluid, and refreshing record that reminds fans of progressive deathcore why they love this genre in the first place.
There was a period between 2006 and 2009 where the deathcore scene was exploding as progressive elements started to get introduced into the sound. The genesis of the sound of many bands that are loved today was in that scene – be it The Faceless, After the Burial, Born of Osiris, Within the Ruins, Between the Buried and Me, The Contortionist – the list goes on. Now, in 2016, things are different. Enter Shadow of Intent, a progressive/technical deathcore duo. Their take on the sound manages to be fresh way past the prime of the genre, and hearkens back to the feeling of finding a new band on a random blog doing interesting things, a band that is on the verge of greatness.
Welcome to our new monthly post, Editors’ Picks! In the recent two years, our editorial body has grown quite a bit: from basically two guys running everything, we now have around seven people managing the blog in an editorial capacity, including two (count ’em, two!) Editors in Chief. We thought we’d harness that unique body of editors and use their over-reaching perspective to shed light on specific releases each month. The way it works is simple: each editor gets to pick one album released in January (or in its proximity, as we just said). We write short pieces about them and link you to the album, allowing you to check it out yourselves. There’s no genre restrictions: expect to see some gnarly stuff on here as most of our editors have a very wide range of musical appreciation. Without further ado, let’s dig in into this month’s offering!