posted on 11/2009 By:
As heavy metal surges into the 10's, a lingering army of deathcore stragglers are attempting to leave that much-maligned tag behind by hitching their wagons to the legit DM caravan. One or two seem primed to succeed (All Shall Perish, for one), while most are likely doomed to suffer a fate reserved for posers that disown their sinking-ship identities for greener pastures. Worse yet, these strugglers are basking in relative spotlights, trying mightily to sound like something similar to Common Grave, and failing pretty damned miserably. However, it must be noted that even the genuine article can leave something to be desired.
Common Grave's attack is slightly technical, slickly modern, and sickeningly brutal. Steeped in the fuck-you-up ethos of Dying Fetus and delivered with the necksnap quirk of Benighted, Embedded Coding is a killer mini-bomb of death. After opening with a slightly-hilarious intro (surely unintentional, but nonetheless grin-inducing in its oddball juxtaposition), the band quickly launch into an agile maelstrom of up-to-the-minute bludgeoning. “Fragments Once Lost” comes off like a Beneath the Massacre / Kataklysm hybrid—and as such, kicks a significant amount of ass. And Common Grave, unlike many bands of their ilk, don’t fall blindly into the sameness trap. The halting screeks of “Casualty” contrast nicely with the semi-melodic drive of “Degradation Upgrade,” and the rollercoaster nature of tracks like “Bleeding Shades of Grey” ensures that, despite the indecipherable vocals and a wholesale lack of hooks, you’ll actually be able to tell these songs apart from one another. After repeated listens, of course.
Even after those repeated listens, though, it’s almost impossible to identify the guest vocal spots from John Gallagher and Elliot Desgagnes. Plus, the mere fact that they’ve asked these dudes to join their fray is proof that they aren’t ashamed to wear their influences like a leopard Snuggie in public. And, honestly, in spite of its impressive capacity for devastation, Embedded Coding isn’t really permanent playlist material. It’s a quick, vicious adrenaline fix that will be handy in an emergency, but it’s hard to imagine that anyone other than total brutality freaks will need to break the glass for this thing, and deathcore graduates should find a more impressive blueprint.
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