Monday, 20 April 2015

As Blood Runs Black "Ground Zero" (2014)


California Deathcore outfit "As Blood Runs Black" were once a promising force in the emerging scene, performing a distinctive sound that played to the genres most obvious traits as well as defining a unique character that would set them a little aside from other bands. It took them five years to follow up on their debut "Allegiance" in which time the Deathcore trend has well and truly died down. This third record was crowd funded and didn't have me especially excited considering many lineup changes and diminishing interest in the scene. Despite all that this album turned out to be reasonably enjoyable.

The group retain their distinctive sound, mostly thanks to the return of original drummer Hector who stamps his cold mechanical machine like drumming on the sound, and the guitars which retain the similar tone and riffing approach we are used to, although not quite the same level of bludgeoning tracks like "Hester Prynne" offered. Through the track listening there is a noticeable and welcome infusion of styles that break the mold, from melodic, clean sung choruses to acoustic interludes and progressive solos. Of course its all spliced between atypical palm mute chugging and rhythmic breakdowns which fail to break there own comfort zone.

The record was relatively short and to the point with none of the tracks meandering, but across the length their was little magic to measure. The better moments came from the melodic riffs and breakaways from their core sound, but all of it was between just that. The excessive breakdowns and attempted bludgeoning dulled all the better ideas. Certainly wasn't a bad listen if you like the Deathcore sound, but it failed to give me much reason to listen to it more.

Favorite Track: Chapters
Rating: 3/10

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