Release DetailsLABEL Candlelight
RELEASED ON 9/18/2007
Knights Of The Abyss
posted on 12/2007 By:
While Arizona’s Knights of the Abyss have tough competition in fellow scenesters All Shall Perish, Despised Icon, Job for a Cowboy, and others, Juggernaut is mildly enjoyable for what it is – a clinical deathcore album that meets the subgenre’s requirements. However, though in tune with what the Candlelight/S.o.A.R. marriage has birthed in the past, it’s difficult recommending the not-so-aptly-titled Juggernaut over anything from the above-listed bands, or even the Prosthetic contingent consisting of speedy, emotion-free technical death metallers Beneath the Massacre and Through the Eyes of the Dead. As a matter of fact, there’s no reason to pick this up if you’re acquainted with deathcore already, and if you aren’t…well, you probably don’t like it anyway.
The introductory, if inflated, title track is moving – think orchestral involvement a la Dimmu Borgir – but it’s “Emancipation” that truly encapsulates the KotA sound. Vocals come in the form of growls, screams, shouts, and squeals, while the cold, angular instrumentation includes breakdowns, intertwining riffs/double-bass offerings, and plenty of tempo changes. And honestly, compositions such as “Karmageddon,” “Hell Bent,” “Gridlock,” and others down the line are evenly matched because each has hints of personality and know-how, though not enough to captivate except in a casual, superficial fashion. Otherwise, the production is great, and the musicianship leaves no room to complain either.
This debut pales in comparison to efforts from forerunners despite having a few bright spots scattered throughout its 36-minute length. It’s not as if Knights of the Abyss missed the mark necessarily; it’s that there are superior records out there in the exact same vein, which, stylistically speaking, is beginning to show its limitations, because aside from the usual influx of formulaic imitators, the deathcore blueprint is evidently being followed too closely. Or perhaps it doesn’t lend itself to experimentation. In any case, steer clear of Juggernaut, although one could admittedly do much, much worse.
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