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What Chelsea Grin would be if they don't go pop - 80%

DomDomMCMG, January 19th, 2013

Chelsea Grin's self-titled debut was a horrendous piece of shit, but it was a horrendous piece of shit with a tiny bit of potential hidden in all the breakdowns, pig squeals and sex samples. However instead of capitalising on this potential they turned into a synthpop band with screams. However it seems a band from the UK known as Bound By Exile took the formula Chelsea Grin had on their self-titled EP and improved on it themselves. This isn't original by any means but it is certainly very enjoyable and one of the best things to come from the land of deathcore in quite some time.

While the band do follow a formula that is fairly standard for deathcore, with Black Dahlia Murder influenced tremolo riffs mixed with Matthew Marks' fast blast beats and drum fills, some chuggy mosh breakdowns thrown into the mix with the vocals being a mix of guttural growls and shrieks. However the bassist usually follows the guitars in these bands but that is not the case for Alex Frampton on this EP. He gets his chance to shine with his enjoyable basslines and even gets a chance to play a couple bass solos such as on opener "Desecrate" and "Sick of It".

The guitars played by Daniel Trump and Mark Pavey, as I already said, consists of tremolo riffs and breakdowns, standard for the deathcore genre. The breakdowns aren't repetitive, however, and actually feel like some effort has gone into placing them into the song structure. They come in at exactly the right moments to pummel your face in and not one of them sounds the same.

There are also some harmonising parts to be found on songs like the imaginatively titled "You're Old News Now, Cunt" which perhaps could've been used to lead into a solo in a similar way to "Abigor" by Cryptopsy, which brings me to point out what I think is the only real flaw on this EP. A total lack of lead work. The album does feel like it was influenced by as much Devourment as it was Whitechapel so it's perhaps understandable that it has more of a slamming death metal feel.

The vocals are performed by both Luke McCarthy (growls) and Courtney Rice (screams). Luke's growls, while guttural and enjoyable, don't feel very unique. However, Courtney's screams are definitely unique and instantly recognisable amongst a sea of Koehler/Lucker clones which really makes this EP feel a lot fresher than some of the shit Total Deathcore are promoting these days.

To sum it up in the simplest terms, this is a deathcore fan's wet dream. Perfectly structured and thought out, no bullshit deathcore for the fans of stuff like Ingested (Jason Evans of Ingested even does guest vocals on the first track), Whitechapel and possibly even the more open minded Devourment fan.

Highlights: Desecrate / Sick of It / You're Old News Now, Cunt

Extreme metal kids out for blood - 86%

GuardAwakening, December 6th, 2012

In my opinion, this recent thing I've been finding of deathcore bands featuring brutal death metal statistics in their music is something I think is really fresh. Found within all of deathcore, you'll find bands that either sound too similar to one another or end up just abandoning the genre altogether. Thankfully (or in some cases to other metal fans, unfortunately) the genre has revived itself once again with a fresh helping of groups looking for a new sound to garner amongst their own leisure, almost building up a new audience entirely. Is this the new sound for deathcore? Maybe eventually it won't even be such a hated metal genre if this keeps up.

Bound by Exile is a British six piece, and let me just say that these kids go fucking hard and as hard as they possibly can. Most of the members are fresh from high school and it feels like the music itself feels much more mature and experienced than you would expect kids like this to even create. The first track alone (in the first 4 seconds) is almost literally a blizzard of noise (think Cattle Decapitation's outburst moments) before setting into itself. The guitarists of the band will usually shift from tremolo picking and back to chugging (typical deathcore) but their drummer is one of the most redeeming factors of the band. Like their older peers that practically founded the sound of this style of metal Ingested, were practically reknown for their secret weapon; Lyn Jeffs who is an absolute god at the blast beat. As for the band's bassist, you can actually hear him now and then, not in the mastering but he actually has his own bass breaks every now and then wear he steers up the fretboard proving he's more than just backround rumble.

But, the REAL star of the show in Bound by Exile is their dual lead vocalist positions; Luke McCarthy and Courtney Rice. McCarthy handles the growls while Rice handles the screams wherein both these boys specialize in their respective vocal registers. McCarthy's range sounds as if it's a combination of Alex Erian (Despised Icon) and Phil Bozeman (Whitechapel) wherein Rice sounds like a hybrid of Alex Koehler (Chelsea Grin) and Scott Kennedy (Bleed from Within). In all they're pretty much within the growl and scream range of several deathcore vocalists behind them, except they get in between each other's styles of other bands.

Defilement I believe is just the begging for these young metallers. Yes they've had releases other than this EP but I truly believe that it's just the foundation for their eventual make up to their original sound. Ever since hearing this EP, I was blown away at their energy and performance, although they're not the most original band on the extreme metal block, they've got a lot potential for a full-length that I hope to hear about soon.

Check out tracks: "Desecrate" and "Dethroned"