Despised Icon – Beast (Album Review)

Despised Icon – Beast

Out: July 22nd 2016

Despised Icon line up:

Steve Marois | Vocals
Alex Erian | Vocals
Eric Jarrin | Guitar
Sebastien Piché | Bass
Yannick St-Amand | Guitar
Alex Pelletier | Drums
Ben Landreville | Guitar

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 Seven years after their last album and two years after they re-joined the music world. Despised Icon the self-proclaimed progenitors of deathcore have followed up the impressive Day of Mourning with an absolute banger of a follow-up aptly titled Beast.

Beginning with ‘The Aftermath’ the vocal trade-off of Steve Marois and Alex Erian are at the forefront as Alex Pelletier’s drums charge forward at lightning speed and meets a hardcore-inflected riff that’s going to inducing pit destruction in a live setting. The song is a furious statement that the guys are definitely back with a vengeance.

despised-icon-beastThe next song ‘Inner Demons’ is more of the same but takes the formula set out in the first track and up’s the intensity even further. The bass part by Sebastien Piché in particular is a highlight as it segues into vintage deathcore mayhem, with the apex of the song being when both vocalists scream “fuck my life”  giving way to a chaos inducing breakdown.

Track three ‘Drapeau Noir’ is arguably the highlight of the album, with a melodic opening guitar part giving way to some frenzied machinegun drumming, inducing images of being thrown out your window by a five hundred pound rhino. Complete with a sweet solo in the middle section and gang vocals, it’s a perfect example of everything this band is known for and does so well.

Unfortunately not everything on here is gold, the interludes on this already relatively short album don’t really add anything to the album as a whole and sound out of place. ‘Dedication to Extinction’ in particular sounds more like it would be better suited as an album opener or on a Fleshgod Apocalypse record. There’s also some questionable pig squeal vocals that while being utterly indistinguishable from your average farm animal, don’t really feel like they add anything and mostly seem like deep down Despised Icon wanted to make a grindcore album. That’s not to say that there isn’t times that it doesn’t work like in the rage-fuelled ‘Time Bomb’ but sadly other times it’s mostly needless.

Finishing this ten track album with the title-track; Despised Icon go all out with life destroying drums and vocal trade-offs in great abundance. The guitars in the song are some of the hardest hitting in the entire album and threaten to make any fan of this band happier than a hippie discovering his first unicorn. Unfortunately indistinguishable pig squeals rear their ugly head, but all is forgiven with a great ninja defending breakdown. Basically this song represents everything good and bad about this record.

This is a great return for Despised Icon. There’s clearly room for improvement in future releases, but this is a wonderful consolidation of their strengths as a band, even if it’s not as experimental as one could hope after a seven year stretch between drinks. But if meat and potatoes deathcore, done by one of the best bands in the genre is your cup of chai, then I highly recommend this album. Because it’s (pun totally intended) a beast.

7 Invisible Ninjas out of 10

 Beast track listing:

The Aftermath
Inner Demons
Drapeau Noir
Bad Vibes
Dedicated To Extinction
Grind Forever
Time Bomb
One Last Martini
Doomed
Beast
By: Kaydan Howison

Check out some of the tracks already released from Beast below…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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