Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Innovative Deathcore Bands

Oh, hey, since my blog still exists I might as well throw down a new entry for my legion of dedicated fans. I know, I know, you can’t thank me enough for these great recommendations of incredible bands and now that you’ve listened to all the albums that I reviewed until your ears bled black…You simply crave another review of some skull-crushingly brilliant artists. The notion that you could be out of new and interesting music to listen to is utterly foreign to me since I consistently listen to new albums as soon as they are available. My greatest worry is that I will pass up some really great music and wind up listening to something mediocre instead. And yet, I find myself returning to older artists and bands that I “missed out” on in their heyday and surprisingly often, I discover some excellent bands. So, my message to people out there today is to check out some older shit if you seek inspiration from another time period. Don’t get me wrong though, I’m not saying you should listen to 80’s music (just puked in my mouth), but if you search for some of the original artists of your favorite (sub)genres you begin to hear and understand musical influences. I don’t think I truly understood hardcore punk until my friend told me to check out some early 90’s Refused albums. Anyways, I’m going to briefly promote a few of my favorite Death Metal/Metalcore albums of the Fall to get the nastiness flowing.

With the demonic presence of Halloween still in the air, what better way to celebrate the darker side of life than with some delectably apocalyptic deathcore albums. The following bands I would certainly consider deathcore in many respects but they also push the boundaries of the subgenre with their respective unique approaches. As I have said in previous posts, deathcore is certainly an acquired taste and the majority of people are too close-eared to even consider listening to it. But like all the finer things in life, when you approach it the right way consistently, it becomes a part of you and you cannot imagine your life without it. Deathcore must be listened to at a very loud level, to the point where you risk damaging your ears. It also sounds best if you are doing an activity that matches its rapid rhythms such as exercising, playing sports or blowing people’s heads off in a video game. Some people forget how your mood not only effects your perception of the music you are listening to, but if you are truly open-eared, the music itself will dictate your own mood. Three bands that always seemed to get me pumped up no matter what my mood are The Black Dahlia Murder, Winds of Plague, and After the Burial. These are perhaps the three most interesting and talented bands in extreme metal and they certainly all push the envelope of the subgenre’s rapidly evolving style.

The Black Dahlia Murder has become one of my favorite bands mainly because of their energy, passion and unique approach to metal. They remain one of the fastest, heaviest and most interesting bands and the energy of their live shows is simply contagious. Their style is mainly rooted in death metal but there are also influences from black metal, thrash metal and even hardcore. Their vocalist, Trevor Strnad, mainly does high shrieks but occasionally adds deeper growls to accent specific parts of their songs. The drumming is extremely fast and tight with enough blast beats to give you a heart attack. Their lyrics are most similar to gore and black metal due to their love of extremely dark and fucked up themes such as zombies and death itself. They recently added Ryan Knight (ex-Arsis) to their lineup and his excellent guitar solos have made their most recent album, Deflorate, their best to date. You have been living under a rock if you haven't heard of this mighty band.

Winds of Plague are a bit newer to the scene than BDM but definitely spun heads when they re-recorded several songs from their debut as well as new material to create the ridiculously epic album, Decimate the Weak, which was released in 2008. They are a band that has the epic black metal power of Dimmu Borgir (both relying on symphonic elements and keyboard) with the breakdown forte of Unearth, and a brutally refreshing yet deathly ugly vocal style. Their latest effort, The Great Stone War, though not as epic as Decimate, certainly continues their brutal yet melodic take on deathcore. Though I have yet to see this band live, I hear that they have quite a presence on stage and really get the mosh moving. If you are really into dark and heavy music that doesn’t sacrifice melody for brutality (they have a great balance), definitely check out this band.

After the Burial is certainly the most progressive of the three bands and is also the closest to Metalcore. I started hearing a buzz about this band several months ago but put off checking them out until mid-summer. When I finally got a hold of their second album, Rareform, it simply blew my mind. My favorite thing about this band is their guitar work, which is very heavy and melodic but more importantly it is surprising and progressive. In other words, they don’t follow the standard metalcore format and are not afraid to experiment with song structure. The drumming and bass guitar also perfectly accentuates the energy and innovation of the guitars. Although I am not very impressed by their vocalist or lyrics (I think he could easily be replaced), his more traditional death growl has begun to grow on me. Listen to their song Berzerker and you will immediately recognize this band’s raw talent.

All three of these bands are innovative, interesting and fucking epic. Each of their albums is certified Nasty! and get a 10/10 for their excellent contributions to deathcore.

Non-Metal Moment: I’ve been listening to Saosin’s latest album In Search of Solid Ground almost every day. This album is essential for fans of pop-punk, post-hardcore and alternative. The drumming and vocals are simply outstanding.


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  2. Nice, I'll have to check out Decimate, Deflorate, and that new Saosin album. I've been skeptical about that band since Anthony Green left but I trust you judgement on its legitness. Does the new singer scream at all or is it all clean vox?