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One of deathcore's finest: memorable and original - 90%

GuardAwakening, March 20th, 2013

Why did I not review this album earlier? I can tell you right now The Adversary is not only one of my most favorite extreme metal albums ever, but also probably the best deathcore release of 2010 coming from a year filled with the likings of the insanely great Hell Chose Me by Carnifex along with other contenders including A New Era of Corruption by Whitechapel, Desolation of Eden by Chelsea Grin, Proprioception by And Hell Followed With, America's Most Haunted by King Conquer, Malevolence by I Declare War and numerous others. But if I could pit any of those up against this record, it would probably have to be Hell Chose Me, I enjoy that album to a big extent. However, The Adversary is just... too damn good. Everything that should be deathcore is this album and they couldn't have done this better. Not only did they acquire a better vocalist who suits the band much more and putting Brendan van Ryn's overly whiny deathcore voice aside, but also upped the death metal influence by about 5 times, leaving the metalcore on the backburner (although still peaks in the music sometimes i.e: breakdowns and screamed vocals).

Every song on the album feels like it has its own memorable parts, I can easily distinguish each track from the other and they never blend in or sound tedious which is the most amazing part when hearing an album in this genre. I can enjoyably listen to this record all the way through on a regular basis. The songs, while usually fast, all have their own trademark parts, interesting moments and fun magnitudes to their own respective gratitude. Also the lyrics have also ditched away the misogynistic and pointlessly violent theme; this time focusing only anti-religion. Yes I am aware this was a topic covered in one song on the band's Infinite Death EP on the song "I'll Show You God". But here, it feels a lot more captivating and better put; more mature than that of anything lyrical spoken on the EP. Take it like this, would you have some kid screaming at you that God isn't real, or have a grown man give you numerous points to his own perspective on why he has no faith in any religion whatsoever and that it's destroying the world? I'll just leave that question to you.

Another topic I wanna cover is the drumming. One of the sweetest and sickest things on this record is Lee Stanton's absolute sick skinswork. He was ONLY 19 ON THIS ALBUM FOR FUCK'S SAKE; the youngest member of the entire group and he's just as talented, if not more talented than the whole band. The ferocity of his blasts in-combination of the aggressive and shredding dual guitarists creates this whirlwind of brutality which I can modestly say, is death metal done right. But this isn't even a death metal album; it's deathcore! A lot of death metal bands alone can't even master this type of ruminative eccentric teamwork, but yet a deathcore band can? Surely shows the haters of the genre what they're missing out on. Speaking further; the breakdowns on this album are never overdone, everything breakdown is maybe once or twice a song and placed almost perfectly. Never any forced "throwdown mosh" parts anywhere here until it totally feels like it should be done. Also guitar solos are a very frequent thing here too, heck, the band even throw in a Nigel Thornberry SMASHING instrumental piece right before the final track entitled "Requiem" which is technically just one big 2-minute solo.

Finally the vocals; I already spoke of these in-contrast to the band's original vocalist but I just have to say it again; McMahon is simply so much better than Brendan van Ryn. He's best suited and described as a real death metal vocalist that I would even compare to Frank Mullen or Ross Dolan, just with a slight Aussie accent on the overtone. His growls are not only ferocious, but he also alternates this vocal style with of course the screamed vocals (usually almost always dual tracked with a growl) and of course the insanely deep gutturals which are about as brutal as they are completely understandable in contrast to his usual growl which actually remains pretty understandable sometimes without even the need of reading the lyrics.

All in all, this album is a near-perfect deathcore album. Everything you liked about Thy Art Is Murder previous to this is here but on steroids and grown up. Gary Markowski's laster-fast sweeps, Mick Low's bass rumbles and Lee Stanton's blast beats are all here but this time fronted by an even better vocalist. This album is amazing. That's all I need to say.