Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Drown In Sulphur "Blackwind" (2019)

Its time to throw myself back to my youth and enjoy some Deathcore! Blastbeats, slams and ludicrous gutturals here we come! Browsing Youtube's endless music videos, the song Blackwind caught my attention, purely for being comically fun and brutal with its stomping onslaught of metallic noise and guitar abuse. The song however has legs and so do the other five tracks that accompany it on this new EP, the groups second. Having had a glimpse over their older releases, it seems the Italian band has stepped up their game after a three year silence from their last single.

Their production has scaled too, despite being unsigned the band have put together a competent sound that doesn't feel flimsy or tacky as some of these kinds of records can do. Instead its the perfect podium for Deathcore aesthetics with its crunchy stomping guitars, regularly delivering textural low notes for the breakdowns. The vocals are meaty, a constant barrage of flat throaty growls, shrill pig squeals and general ridiculousness that hovers above all else. It could be a turn off for most but fits in well given the context. The drums deliver battering barrages of groove, culminating nicely with the guitars that border Djent and yet still find a little flash of color in places.

The songwriting is where Drown In Sulphur may stand apart from others. Its no mastery or revelation but they bring more excitement and freshness with a slight deviance from the norms, never settling on the bog standard approach. It gives almost everything a fraction of spice that occasionally blossoms into a fiery whirl of energy as the constant rolling over of riffs finds a peak in the wandering arrangements. Its free structural form plays big into their hands as repetition could of grinded this record to a halt. Fortunately the balance is fair. After many listens I'm still getting a kick.

Blackwind's best parts tend to be the big concluding riffs towards the end of a track however on a number like Serpenthyne a little bit of Iwrestledabearonce alike mania on the fretwork goes down a treat and so does the reverberated acoustic interlude Sulphur. Essentially, where they deviate most from the basic formula of the genre they succeed and with such a variety driven approach their writing pays off! Nuclear Dawn however fumbles through monochromatic riffs and a mid-track drop of intensity as sections don't quite link. Although I am pretty much done with this type of music, its good to keep an eye out and maybe this band is one to follow in the near future!

Favorite Track: Blackwind
Rating: 6/10