Tag Archives: Metalcore

Architects – Daybreaker

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I’m pretty sure that everyone that is at least a bit into metalcore has heard of Architects before as they have managed to establish themselves in the scene quite well, at the latest in 2009 with their album Hollow Crown.

In 2011 they released The Here And Now which was quite different from the aforementioned album: a lot more melodic and “softer”, but still a very powerful record nevertheless. Their latest endeavor Daybreaker however is very reminiscent of the 2009 released record.

In terms of instruments this means that it is a bit more complex and definitely heavier. Great, almost mathcore-ish, riffs are found througout the whole 42 minutes.

Sam Carter’s vocals are, who would have thought (wink wink), at their usual high level. This guy just manages to deliver on all levels, be it super clean vocals or very emotion-ladden screams. You just believe everything he sings.

Then there are 3 guest appearances on vocals: Jon Green of Deez Nuts, Oli Sykes from Bring Me The Horizon and Drew York of Stray From The Path. The one that sticks out the most to me is Oli Sykes of Bring Me The Horizon on the song Even If You Win, You’re Still A Rat. This is, of course, mostly due to the fact that I’m a big follower of BMTH but also because he sounds very different to the way he does on his albums. This might be because it’s mixed differently or it might be a foreshadowing of THEIR upcoming album.

Lyrically the whole record is very sociocritical and songs like These Colours Don’t Run are a prime example of that. And, because of the vocalist’s talent, you can actually make out about 90% of them without even looking at the booklet.

All in all I can only say that this album is, in some ways, a step back but not really in a bad way: their previous record might have been too much of a change for the band and this feels much more architectural. See what I did there?)

Be sure to check them out on Facebook and listen to the song below.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHHJF2cUwyY]

Dead Boy Dreaming – ALCP

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Which one of you guys still remembers the Luxembourgish extreme metal combo Dead Boy Dreaming? Well, I do and it’s a shame that this band and its music, after they split up, faded away from people’s minds. I remember seeing them live during one of the Emergenza festivals nearly ten years ago and I also remember that at this time I didn’t like them at all.

Nowadays, when I put the ALCP (Another Low Creation Phase) EP in my stereo, I don’t understand what I was thinking way back because there are two aspects I really do appreciate about Dead Boy Dreaming‘s music. First of all the record lasts only 11 minutes, which is something I always like when it comes to extreme music (except for black metal), because a lot of bands seem to have a very bad sense of time and often don’t know when to stop. 11 minutes are just perfect to go on an aggressive and groovy rampage!

Second I am quite surprised how diversified and technical Dead Boy Dreaming‘s music was. They were by far not a typical death band and their music is a nice syncrisis of death, hard- and grindcore elements with a few black splits and a punkish attitude all resulting in an incredible powerful 4 pieces EP.

Dead Boy Dreaming don’t limit themselves to one genre and everything sounds very coherent, a challenge a lot of bands try to face but lose, because of the lack of creativity.

If you have the chance to get a copy of ALCP, tell me what you think of it, because personally I believe that it is a shame that this band split-up. In 2012 this short EP still sounds more refreshing than most of the bullshit which is released these days. Dead Boy Dreaming created something which is very hard to achieve: their music (on the ALCP) seems to be timeless in a manner of speaking, at least over the last decade. That’s why nowadays Dead Boy Dreaming still could easily be a factor front and center.

It would not be the worst reunion I could imagine.

Adestria – Chapters

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This is my first review for El Gore and I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing; so bear with me here.

The record I decided to write about is the debut album Chapters of the rather unknown metalcore band Adestria. At first you might think that Adestria is just your generic “more breakdowns please” metalcore clone but you couldn’t be more wrong.

What these 6 guys from San Diego managed to capture in these 10 songs is a perfect mixture between heaviness and melody that a lot of more famous bands are unable to find.

On top of the amazing harmony on an instrumental level you have the truly strong voice of the lead singer who manages growls, screeches and clean vocals equally well. But it doesn’t stop there. 3 guest vocalists also make an appearance to give 3 songs that special something: Tyler Smith from The Word Alive, Davey Muise of Vanna and Scott Barnes of In Fear And Faith. And if all that isn’t enough yet you have a brilliant production to make it even easier for you to like this album. Lyrically the album is also satisfying and mostly pirate-inspired but not in a corny way, I’d say.

You might notice that I haven’t found anything negative about the record and that is correct. To me this is the best album (in this genre, of course) of 2012 so far and one of the biggest surprises in recent times.

I want to add that I don’t mean to say that Adestria have re-invented the (metalcore) wheel but that they definitely gave it a new spin and future releases of other bands will have to be able to hold up with this album.

You can check them out on their Facebook page and be sure to listen to the song Scarlett Letter below.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4PaA-WTtOA]

Defy The Laws Of Tradition – Till Death Us Part

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Defy the Laws of Tradition’s debut Till Death Us Part from 2009 is by far not a typical breakdown-infected, faceless and boring metalcore record like most of ‘em are. Philipp Treiber (guitar/vocals) told me that his father had a big musical influence on him by making him familiar with bands like Grateful Dead, Frank Zappa but also Journey and Boston. Furthermore he stated that he’s very opened towards music, as he listens to a lot of different styles.

I don’t know what the other guys’ views are but you can hear and feel a vast variety of different inspirations. Metalcore, melodic death, thrash and modern hardcore surely are the principal constituents of this fresh and tasty soup. These ingredients at no point overpower the record but, on the contrary, let enough space for other spices from time to time (a bit of punk rock here, a bit of post-rock there). A proverb says that too many cooks spoil the broth. This doesn’t count for Till Death Us Part, cause every note has its right to exist. Every single aspect of the record is integrated and responsible for an heterogeneous and interesting output.

I have written lots of reviews over the past years and if you have followed me, be it my old blog or El Gore, I think it is clear that while listening to or writing about music, I often concentrate on the voice. It’s not the lyrics I am interested in but rather the acoustic color and the authenticity.

For example I am in no way sexist but I can’t listen to female voices in music aside from the beautiful Beth Gibbons from Portishead and Jón Þór „Jónsi“ Birgisson from Sigur Rós.

And so there is a (personal) diminutive negative aspect of the record. The guys could have used this sleazy, corny melodic, clean voice a bit less. Not because the voice is bad in itself or because it doesn’t fit but because the screams, shouts and growls are so energetic and aggressive that I want more. I know that this mixture of clean singing and shouting/screaming is an identifying feature of the metalcore subgenre but I don’t like this element because a lot of power and aggressiveness is being lost. Altogether that’s my problem and not something I don’t like about the band, but something I don’t like about the genre.

As my roots lay in the oldschool and primitive Black Metal, I am not a person who likes talking and writing about the technical skills of a band. So I will also cut it short for Till Death Us Part. To be concrete, I don’t give a damn fuck about techniques. Confucius already said: “Malmsteen has a lot of skills and he is able to play 1000 notes per second but David Gilmour plays him against “The Wall” with one single bending.” Why? Because Gilmour feels what he plays. And that’s exactly what I thought while listening to Till Death Us Part. Don’t get me wrong, Defy the Laws of Tradition, in everything they do, maintain the high standard. More important is, that the band is authentic, honest and play with heart. Good music is felt music and these guys definitely feel what they play. Kudos for that!

To conclude I have to say that the playtime of the record may be a bit too long. Always remember guys that it is far better when a listener really likes the music but wished that the record, concert or whatever was a bit longer instead of getting bored with the time because you keep on playing and playing.

You should give these guys a try and I am really looking forward to their new longplayer.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0JhUYT8DeE]