Deathcore crept up on us like a wicked hangover. There were fun times preceding it, and as it started to form we thought maybe it would pass by without being a big deal, like maybe if we ignored it then it would just go away. But then BOOM, a legion of headaches lined up to assault the skulls of metalheads (and not in the good way).
However, ‘core doesn’t have to be a dirty word. Unlike a wicked hangover, deathcore has some very redeeming qualities, especially when preceded by “technical” or “progressive.” To emphasize this point, I want to check out two bands per tag that I believe could persuade listeners not to be such haters.
The TDM Best of 2012 Staff List feature technical deathcore titans Rings of Saturn and Abiotic, while staff writer Goshuggist has spouted his disappointment for this year’s Faceless album. As these names, as well as Veil of Maya (review forthcoming) were already mentioned and were the partially impetus for this post, I will leave them only with this passing mention (as their awesomeness has already been stated). First, the technical side of things…
The second full-length from this Californian five-piece features Cameron “Big Chocolate” Argon on vocals, and, in the opinion of this technician, will be hailed as quintessential part of technical deathcore. Offspring of Time has some of the most visual guitar lines I’ve ever heard, injecting your eyes (by way of your ears) with whatever hallucinogenic compound lead to the creation of that cover art. Take a trip to the beach with “Tsar Bomb,” and enjoy the resulting flashbacks for the rest of the week.
The Adversary preceded the critically-hated Hate (2012), which dropped some of the tech (now why would that ever be a good idea?!) The first full-length from the Australian five-piece excels at stop-and-go neckbreaking via rigid riffs, but can get pretty gritty and ugly like brutal death metal. The Adversary is wickedly modern, bludgeoningly heavy, infectiously memorable, and wailingly technical… and not to be missed. Be crushed by “Decrepit Purification!”
And, now moving on to the progressive part of our program today …
Shadow of the Colossus borrowed their name from a Playstation 2 videogame of equally weighty proportions. What makes this Californian four-piece interesting isn’t the shadowy heavy end, but rather the progressive rays of light that shine through the windows into the ancient labyrinth. Shadow of the Colossus is uplifting – well, as uplifting as a stone titan can be. Be enlightened by “Labor, the Enslaver.”
I have actively tried to dislike this band. Seriously, I scoured all three full-lengths looking trying to find bad things. And I just can’t do it, even now. The American six-piece may be one of the big names, and they get that “djent” tag at times, but Born of Osiris deserve your attention as an open-minded deathhead, even with the semi-underground acceptance. The Discovery is progressive, technical, slightly electronic, and filled with chunky stop-and-go riffing, sudden song changes, and unusual keyboard elements. The group will be remembered as one of the forefathers of the progressive deathcore movement, and rightfully so. Be impressed and surprised by “Devastate.”