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I've hardly met an interesting modern age band, who mix melodic death metal and metalcore into something else, but a boring and tasteless copycatting. Maybe I've just been unlucky, because good bands do exist in this genre. Danish Process are one of these. The band formed already in 1992, and this, their debut album 'Through Acknowledgement only' came out in 2010.
Process's melodic death metal side is taken from Gothenburg style. Their stuff does not straightly remind me of any band of that genre. It's definitely on grimmer and more artistic spectrum. More Eucharist than At The Gates, I think. Then there is this more aggressive metalcore side to Process, which is influences by the likes of Lamb Of God and All That Remains. On the whole, the riffing and lead guitar work are technical. They run up and down a fretboard, offering a listener some breathtaking guitar bustle. Despite all this technicality, it also happens to be catchy, sometimes very, very catchy indeed.
This album features Mads Lauridsen behind the drum kit. He's known from such bands as Konkhra, Panzerchrist and The Cleansing. He was a hired gun here, but still he didn't go for the simpler playing, but clearly tried to add some special stuff here and there, and he succeeded in doing that. It's not only about straightforward rhythms, but the band have came up with a nice stack of varying beats here. It all surely makes the album a wider listening experience. The bass work is also something else than simple, as there are some mad fretboard runs heard.
The vocals are the toughest thing for me to take. I've never really enjoyed about that screamed, distorted voice, that is heard on the majority of metalcore albums. Here it is the variety, that makes it all tolerable. And it surely does sound pissed off, too. The clean vocals are at times very similar to Volbeat's. This Danish band's vocalist I do not like at all, so it was nice to hear, that Christian Älvestam (ex-Scar Symmetry, Torchbearer, Unmoored etc.) is another vocalist that this clean singing reminds me of. Lyrics-wise this is streetwise; it's about feelings, medications, corruption, and such typical metalcore lyrical themes.
The Jacob Hansen production is work done well. The sound is tight, but does not really get clogged even on faster parts. It is heavy as expected, and nothing too polished or sterile; it does bite, so there's a good vibe here. It's a fitting modern production for this kind of music.
All in all, Process's debut album 'Through Acknowledgement only' is a melodic yet angry, and technical but ass-kicking album. It is a short one, but at least it does not feel like it was forced out at any point. I think this band has possibilities to reach much further in the future.
(Originally written for ArchaicMetallurgy.com in 20120)