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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