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The Revolution devours all of its children. - 47%

Shadespawn, October 3rd, 2008

Hailing from the vast country of Canada are Despised Icon: a band spawned out of the infamous fusion between hardcore and seemingly death metal. The present exponential growth of bands of this new, so called "deathcore" genre even surpasses the late 90s' wave of Morbid Angel and Slayer "me-toos" that apparently is the newest trend in "brutal" and "aggressive" music. As metalcore established itself as a mix between emo music and groove in the early 2000s, deathcore emerged a bit later, adopting imagery more similar to hip hop or hardcore, than acutal heavy metal, as proclaimed in the 80s. As much as I would like to go on about the scene in general, I will save some for more reviews to come and go directly on with 2005's "The Healing Process".

Technically, The Healing Process may be over-the-top, as song structures are fairly complex, seemingly crescending into total oblivion and destruction of the counterpart. Guitar riffs are played with a vengeance, sawing through the speakers at full speed at times, whilst bashing the listener with doomy sounding slow sluggish riffs at others. They guys from Despised Icon are without doubt good musicians. But even being extremely technical makes you neither good nor impressive, nor heavy metal for that matter. This is exactly the point in why this Canadian destruction machine fails.

The mass executions carried out by Robespierre during the French Revolution in 1792 were the best example for a new system, or idea, can fall apart very fast, the same way the Revolution "devoured all of its children", as Pierre Vergniaud suggests. The same way Despised Icon is one of those new pioneer "revolutionists" who have a slight idea which course to set for modern day "metal", but in the end, fail miserably in effectively contributing to the nowadays dying metal scene. As an autist compensates for his talent with the loss of other traints, so does Despised Icon fail to bring any form of soul into their music, achieving only technical mastery. The music sounds mechanical and empty, the structures that are built, immediately collapse. Totally incoherent, horribly cacophonic sounding riffs and melodies, accompanied with typical groove "jumpdafuckup" aspects make most of this album annoying and difficult to relish. As soon as they get a nice groove going, the song immediately falls apart or continues with absurd disoriented parts.

Now I would really like to know why this band actually has two vocalists. Not only that they sound almost completely alike: desperate grunts both high and low that sound less like proud heavy metal, but more like a release of digested feces through the esophagus. The "pig squeals", as they are called, sound comical, onomatopoetically depicted like a swineish "RIGYDIGYDIGY". Simply put: monotonous random screaming and barking alternating from one voice to the other make the vocal patterns uninteresting and boring. The lyrical presentation is somewhat odd. As whoever writes their lyrics may actually have something important to say, about unmorality or social decadance and human degeneration, the execution is fightfully flawed, as reading the lyrics makes you realize that they have only been written to try and impress, but in a pseudo-intellectual manner, as if random words have been picked out of a dictionary. If one takes a closer look, one directly notices their profound meaning, namely (most of the time) nothing:

" [...] The soporific serenity permanently reflected in your charming face gives you jurisdiction. A soiled soul infects the spine during a segment of time. Particles of truthfulness suppurate from this almost perfect being. [...]"

In conclusion: Regression and steps taken backward. If this is what the scene that was once heavy metal has become and incubates, then woe betide us, for the future of heavy metal is grim.