I Declare War
posted on 7/2010 By:
As evidenced by the lashes on my review of I Declare War’s 2007 Amidst the Bloodshed, heaviness is in the eye of the beholder. And until you get your own website or blog to spout your own opinions instead of coming here to read ours, I am the beholder, motherfuckers. And I still ascertain that Seattle’s I Declare War are one of, if not the heaviest deathcore bands around.
Now residing on a more fitting label (along with another balls-heavy, love-‘em-or-hate-‘em deathcore acts, Chelsea Grin), I Declare War has fixed the sloppiness and production issues that hindered the ridiculously heavy debut. In comes producer Chris Common (Pelican, Book of Black Earth, These Arms Are Snakes) to tighten up I Declare War’s sound so that their devastating throes have even more seismic results.
Rather than go for the pseudo-tech-death metal business of some of their more frenetic peers, like Impending Doom or Ion Dissonances’s Minus the Herd, I Declare War is deathcore on barbituates; a slow, drooling, lurching take on deathcore that rumbles and lopes with a patient chug rather than blast beats and triggered mayhem. Already a heavier-than-thou act, with Common's production, I Declare War is even more devastating.
After the opening march of “Malevolence” (apparently a requisite for any deathcore album nowadays) signals the approach of something truly pummeling, “New Age Holocaust” is happy to deliver, with one of the few blast beats, as is “Federal Death Alliance”. Both render utterly massive mid-pace throwdowns. And frankly, all of the 11 tracks deliver. With seldom a blast beat in sight and with Jonathan Huber’s uber-deep bellows, the album is a controlled behemoth of pure heft. Even when Huber isn’t belting out furnace-like roars, the likes of “Malevolence”, “Alea Iacta Est” and most of the album’s heaviest cut, “Damnation:Enslavement” are still utterly devastating. Even when they do throw in some speed here and there (“Conformed to Fiction”, “Predetermined Path”, “Fractions”), it's short-lived and sandwiched between monstrously heavy, tectonic rumbles and growls. The likes of “Infinite Corruption” and “Purification of the Population”, which focus more on the slower deliberate gait, are far more effective.
Make no bones about it, I Declare War aren’t reinventing the wheel, and while other recent deathcore releases by Whitechapel and And Hell Followed With are more dynamic and trying to be death metal, I Declare War are content to simply crush the wheel and grind it into dust.
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