Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: 22 July 2016
Review by Steve Jenkins
From the early 2000’s right up until 2010, Montreal-based deathcore monsters, Despised Icon, created some of the most extreme music to fall upon people’s ears. They took the genre of deathcore and added their own style of ferocious blast beats, guttural vocals featuring pig squeals and hardcore style chants, devastatingly HEAVY breakdowns and crushing heaviness. Nobody else could come close and they quickly become the Kings of deathcore, amongst the likes of Whitechapel, Suicide Silence, Carnifex and more.
Then in 2010, Despised Icon announced that they were disbanding so that members of the band could begin new chapters in their lives. Vocalist, Alex Erian forming his own band Obey The Brave, which took right off with two studio albums and world tours aplenty.
In 2014, the band announced that they would reunite to perform several shows across North America and Europe, which would eventually lead to the band signing to Nuclear Blast and their fifth studio album, titled Beast.
Now in 2016, their batteries are fully charged and they’re ready to take on the world with their brute force style of hardcore, mixed with signatures of technical death metal. Beast is ten tracks of undeniable brutality that is made to crush you from start to finish. A quality that Despised Icon possess unlike some bands in the genre, is the ability to make the music their own. Distinctly, all it takes is one gang-shout, one bree-bree, one riff, or one grind-blast beat to let the listener know who’s currently pounding away at their ear drums.
Beast is well crafted album that doesn’t let up and takes all the facets crucial to their sound to the extreme. Starting with The Aftermath, it’s a clear indication that they haven’t slowed down one bit. Standout tracks such as Drapeau Noir and Grind Forever showcase their technical ability with precise execution, exploding and cutting guitars accompanied by a dedicated rhythm section. The vocals of Alex and Steve combined is raw as ever and provided that wonderful contrast of hardcore and death metal when utilised as well as they do.
When one looks back at the catalogue of this band, there is an obvious progression in every aspect. Whether it’s guitar work, drumming, vocals, songwriting and production. The band does not re-invent their sound, nor re-invent the wheel. They evolve. This album is a well-oiled, cold, calculating machine mixed with a brutal, unrelenting predator. It will crush you, and you will enjoy it.