Nordic metal bands have always wondered me for its ability to transform something so brutal and raw into something so magical and rad as melodic death metal, in a way that most bands from other corners of the world don’t seem to attain. Swedish metal heads Despite seem to know how to carry the flag.
They have been around for quite a while but have only made themselves noticed in my radar a few months ago… and thank the metal gods they did. Especially, as it was to present EPic, the third album of the band — first featuring Peter Tuthill on the (amazing!) vocals. Tuthill fits Despite like a glove, bringing a whole new dimension to their sound. His vocal range throughout the album is utterly impressive. He can (literally) scare you to death in one moment and put you to bed in the next one. His guttural (but still intelligible) screams are in perfect harmony with the powerful groove and heavy beat (that clearly reminds me of Slipknot) straight from the first track: As You Bleed.
For once, I’ve got to go with the cliché of selecting the first track the best of the album. The drums and bass are the driving force hidden behind the vocals throughout the entire record but, in this track, they set an incredible head bouncing mood that only stops once they do.
‘Unexceptional’ is a brutal, fast and intense track that will knock you down of your couch right from the first second… in the best possible way (we all know how much being knocked down of a couch can hurt, right?). Despite managed to create a (not-to-literal) ‘melodic metalcore’ track in which the whole music feels like an intense prelude to a clear and groovy chorus that pops in right in the moment when the brutality was about to become too hard to bear. Brilliant!
‘Sanctum Falls’, the last track, is the perfect ending to a great album. The sad and powerful lyrics match flawlessly with the heavy and menacing groove creating one of the most consistent and interesting tracks of the record. Here, we are (finally) blessed with the highly anticipated, amazing and (I dare to say) touching (in a manly way, of course) guitar solo from André Gonzales. ‘Sanctum Falls’ leaves you craving for their next album.
In the end, EPic is a refreshing, solid and heavy as f**k album that stands out from the crowd, especially considering nowadays’ metal scene. We’re living in an age where the music industry is flooding the market with hardcore/metalcore/deathcore bands depicted by the same song formulas, auto-tuned vocals and lead-singer-with-a-neck-tattoo style (from the top of my head: Black Veil Brides, The Amity Affliction and Asking Alexandria) that will hopefully fade away once there’s no more room for ‘metal’ boybands. Despite, on the other hand, seem to be the real deal, ready to leave the underground and dazzle the entire world with their amazing nordic metal for a really long time but… they have to work on the lyrics. 3,5 out of 5 stars. MRR
TRACKS TO LISTEN INCREDIBLY LOUD As You Bleed, Unexceptional, Sanctum Falls
TRACKS TO WORK ON Awakening, Give Me Lies
Post published in MEDIUM on September 23, 2015