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What happened? - 50%

der_Metzgermeister, September 22nd, 2009

Despised Icon is a band who's blend of poetry and brutality caused them to quickly rise through my ranks of favorite bands. However, this new release leaves me confused as to where things went wrong, and I doubt that I'm the only one with these thoughts.

Lyrically, this album is a massive black mark for DI. These guys have always managed to write intriguing, intelligent, and most importantly, moving lyrics. However, this album contains some lyrics which are, in my opinion, atrocities to the genre as a whole. For example, "Oh, baby don't you know this party's picking up//You be a classy looking hoe//Girl, I promise that I'll be gentle and take it slow.//Put this thick member in your mouth and start to blow." sounds more like a verse from a Brokencyde track.

Musically, this album is saved. At least, somewhat. The riffing is not as emphasized as it was on prior releases, but when it comes out, it shines. You can tell that while the well of poetry has run dry, the ability to create punishing riffs shines on. Frequently, the guitars follow the drums, and help to create a more solid sound, which is one thing I've always loved about DI. The bass is sadly often inaudible, but then again, in this style of music, that's often the case. The drums are what really take the cake on this album. Double bass is nearly constant, which is coupled with unrelenting speed on the rest of the kit. Alex has shown the most growth since The Ills of Modern Man, and he was already phenomenal back then. Unfortunately, vocals on this album lead to yet more disappointment. Pig squeals are absent, which I feel takes away one of DI's signature talents. The gang vocals on this album are also heavily overused, which adds to the disappointment.

Lyrically and vocally, the album falls short by a mile. Musically, the riffs remain strong, and the drumming is a new high for Despised Icon. I feel that this album deserves an even 50%, seeing as they got half of it right. Sorry guys, you blew it.