The Australian band dropped the Invigoration EP, allowing us to experience A Night in Texas and a deathcore-technical mixed sound. Being an avid lover and listener of deathcore, this band meets the necessary criteria of the genre, but is it enough for them to emerge with a sound that's already been perfected by many before them? Their last release was their self-titled demo in 2009. We'll see if they've progressed into something fit for 2013 and its unique needs.
Listening to the first track, "Invigoration," it functioned as an intro track, featuring a slow, eerie vibe very typical to the genre. It was still considerably unique in itself, incorporating sounds which could surely induce paranoia. At first I had expected this to be a track of full digitally modified sound as I've seen many times before on deathcore albums. However, the vocals, drums and guitars come in toward the middle; very suitable vocals, and the most props going to the little bass solo at the end (although I wish it was more prominent). The vocals sit at a mid-range level, with an overlap of Hicks' highs throughout the whole EP. Much preference given to the highs, as mid-ranges can so easily fall a bit more flat. He as well does not shy away from incorporating the well-known deathcore "blech." I've always found vocal technique to give a cool, rage-inducing feel, but the placement of this vocal flare in the beginning and toward the middle of "Throne of Flies" just doesn't do anything for me; once again during the next song, "Orphan of Humanity," where there's a third attempt at it. This popularly known "blech" is tiring into a "blah" for me in 2013 tunes, leaving me to believe it should be left to the originals. The band who comes out with a new type of vocal flare this year will get ratings in my books.
Although there are many fast flowing, shredding sections and quick changes within these songs, there is also a lot of repetition on guitar and bass. In many songs, there is a lot of common "chug-chug-chug" repetitions and overplay of the same riffs, which becomes a little exhausting. Although an individual repetition never carried through the entire course of a song, it was the fact that there are often riffs made up of a repetition of a tiny piece of itself, followed by another section doing the exact same. Don't get me wrong, these riffs still suit everything this band is going for. They have very dark, slower guitar bits and also fast, more exciting ones as well. There are also many shifts from shreds, to solos, to slower sections, and breakdowns. With this, the fourth track, "Human Cattle," would be considered the best of the EP. The fading intro (which was the quality most swaying my decision to pick as favourite), shreds, blasts, slams and breakdown in this song exemplify all the characteristics previously described. Its very own lyric video was released on March 29.
As part of the aging population of early-on deathcore lovers, this debut EP might not do the genre much justice for me. I could see this band being the most enjoyable to a new-found listener in the scene; certainly with their incorporation of an undoubtedly booming technical genre. This band is still fresh to 2013 with only one previous release from four years ago. However, there's over-use of an overdone vocal technique and commonly accepted beats not unheard of by many, but can go unnoticed as this to that new-found listener. I beg for a deathcore band to bring something new to the table in 2013 or allow for deathcore to see its exit since it's already been mastered and seemingly, only allows history to repeat itself for many “newer” bands striving for that deathcore and/or technical-mixed sound. When it comes down to it, it's all about perception based on experience with these genres and if you feel its progressing in the right or wrong direction with each new release that comes out.
For Fans Of: King Conquer, The Red Shore, Trigger the Bloodshed