[22nd October 2013]
01. Fertile Steps
02. False Awakening
03. A Dime A Dozen
05. The Face
07. Haste Makes Waste
10. Ego Death
This Pennsylvanian quartet, The Last Ten Seconds of Life, have been on the radar for quite some time, however it is only October last year that they unleashed their debut album, INVIVO[EXVIVO] - Latin for “within the living, outside the living”. It has been bouncing around newsfeeds and inboxes for the past while, so the time seems right to just fucking give it a listen, yeah? Here we go.
The album kicks off with some straight up, off-the-bat, crushing heaviness. “Fertile Steps” is a good choice for opening the album; it lets you know “Yeah, here is what we do, it may not always be exactly like this, but here is an idea of what to expect”, and that is gritty, aggressive chugga-chugga riffs, powerful breakdowns that occasionally delve into the world of slam, as well as some top-tier deathcore vocals.
Slam-tinged deathcore is certainly the kind of deathcore that needs to happen. Regardless of the mixture, deathcore needs something to spice it up. Unending breakdowns and pig squeals wear thin pretty quickly, so it’s nice to witness some interesting riffs, and whilst “Fertile Steps” has its fair share of breakdowns, it also has a particularly intriguing riff that sounds like the bastard child of Suicide Silence and…KoRn? It works well as a gamechanger, however that familiar deathcore style remains in abundance.
There is the inevitable djent influence in there, although it is thankfully kept to a minimum; we have enough Veil of Maya clones, thank you very much, so it’s good to hear this form didn’t dominate the entire album. In fact, it is so few and far between that it actually sticks out and works as a powerful progressive tool – used in the way such a concept should be.
There is very little shredding going on here; no wanky Mustaine-esque guitar solos, no Born-of-an-egyptian-deity sweep melodies littered all over the place like the remnants of a particularly invasive Hentai video, and certainly no twenty-minute rock-jazz odysseys. No, what we have here, is pure riff, one after the other, sludging along like a train built out of slugs, sloths and quicksand. Drifting over this intangible mass of chug-chugs are the vocals, which range from crushingly brutal to also crushingly brutal. What were you expecting?
The Last Ten Seconds Of Life are certainly one of the better deathcore orientated acts of recent years, and if there is to be a deathcore revival, then the other acts need to take a leaf from their book and spice it the fuck up. These guys are well on their way to making deathcore vaguely interesting again.
However, there are shortfalls in this album. For one, perhaps this isn’t spiced up enough. It is still 80% deathcore, with a few random extra influences bouncing around in there. Perhaps a little more progression is required?
Additionally, the vocals do tend to get a little stale after a while. Not quickly, but by the end of the album you do become rather numbed to them. The band still needs something; just that tiny little bit extra, and then it will be a force to be reckoned with, but for a debut, this is a very solid release with more high points than low points. It is certainly worth checking out anyway and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys the heavier side of metal.
Notable tracks: False Awakening, The Face, Haste Makes Waste
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