Despised Icon
The Ills of Modern Man


3.5
great

Review

by Gavin M. USER (1 Reviews)
July 17th, 2008 | 156 replies | 19,118 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Where other bands imitate each other's performances, creating an endless tunnel of repetitiveness and originality, Despised Icon shines a light through with The Ills of Modern Man.

7 of 7 thought this review was well written

Despised Icon: A band filtered into a genre used to summarize a mainly Death Metal band with hardcore and grind influences. Recently, this genre has drastically expanded, with many repetitive, generic, and frankly irrelevant bands. The genre usually involves little to no clean vocals, which remains true for Despised Icon. Therefore, anyone who is not attracted to that style of music, this album is not for you.

Despised Icon's debut The Healing Process was a fair album, both in my opinion and in its overall review average. This time around, Despised Icon seems to have somewhat matured with their music, while not eliminating some of the better qualities on the previous attempt. It also reflects some of those qualities which hindered The Healing Process's ability to be greater than it was. Now when I say matured, I do not mean that the pig squeals are gone, because the vocals are very similar to their debut. By mature, I am more referring to the organizational sound of the music. Specifically, the instruments tend to support each other more in the album.

Instrumentally, the album is usually a quite pleasurable listen. The drums are outstanding, but they don't take away from the guitars as many bands focus on the double pedal aspect of drumming. Unlike in many metalcore albums, the drums do not sound as triggered, therefore do not drown out the guitar work. On the other hand, the guitar work itself is sometimes rather dull, with "Chug Chug Chug" (if you will) style of playing. Sometimes, this fits the atmosphere to a song, such as in A Fractured Hand, but in other cases grows repetitive and boring. The solos tend to be rather impressive, however they don't usually last for too long. So in the way of guitars, don't be expecting any As Blood Runs Black or such. The vocals however are formidable, which you would hope considering they have two full time vocalists. Alex Erian has a powerful mid-range scream, but is not very diverse in pitch. Steve Marois on the other end of the table has a large range of unique high pitch screams, and even growls which are a pleasure to listen to. He also executes Pig Squeals frequently on the album, which outdo that of most other pig squeals you will hear in a band. Most of his vocal work is inhaling, which contrasts that of Alex Erian, but leaves a good taste in your mouth.

Lyrically the album tells of past-times and hardships that may have been experienced. It is also evident in songs such as the title track, and A Fractured Hand of self-insight and reflection upon past experiences. The lyrics remain emotional and add to the atmosphere of the music (where decipherable) while remaining on topic and flow with the album. The album title itself The Ills Of Modern Man gives a good idea of what the album with be like lyrically, and the album remains true to its roots.

The album as a whole tends to be repetitive, yet it still works. The formula the band uses is a fun listen, while remaining mainly Death Metal. The hardcore influence appears in the band mainly by the use of breakdowns, which are usually the slower sort of deal. The major problem with this album is that it does not do much more than I described. On the bright side, its better than bands that just have some songs that are just blast beating, pig squealing, and then an obserd number of breakdowns. Personally, I'm not one of those guys who need a breakdown in every song, so eliminating a few here and there on this album would never be a bad thing. I admit breakdowns tend to have a cool feel to them, and its "br00tal" none the less, but (besides the drumming) its not a highlight of any band's musicianship. This remains with Despised Icon as well, although where they do have those usual breakdowns, they do it much better than many other bands. The atmosphere to the album is usually anger and sorrow. One thing I will credit the band for is the use of “screeches” on the guitar, or really sharp, off sounding chords that make you grit your teeth, and get the message of a stressful, just completely let loose sort of feel. Other bands usually fail miserably at this atmosphere, but Despised Icon pulls it off with precision. You also get the sense that Despised Icon loves what they are doing, with frequent “gang” vocals and chanting, specifically in Fainted Blue Ornaments. And as we all know, the music is a hell of a lot better when the band is enjoying playing their music as much as we enjoy hearing it.


Despised Icon demonstrate good musicianship, potential, and redeeming qualities with The Ills of Modern Man. Instrumentally, the album is slightly above average, and lyrically the album is rather powerful. The band does sometimes overdue it with breakdowns,but I've learned only to accept this among the genre. The album also executes an appropriate atmosphere. Despised Icon sure does it a hell of a lot better than most other bands that drag the “Deathcore” title with them, so if relentlessly brutal music is your thing, pick this up.


user ratings (533)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
ThePriceofBeauty
July 17th 2008



72 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I didn't do much proof reading, so if you notice a mistake or anything please notify me.

Thanks for reading.

megalodon
July 17th 2008



108 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

One problem I've always had with Despised Icon are their lyrics. Quite frankly, they're awful. Their growler is also kind of annoying. I don't think he sounds as good as, say, Jonny Davy (Job For A Cowboy), Phil Bozeman (Whitechapel) or Guy Kozowyk (The Red Chord). Their music is cool though. This is also a well written review. If I hadn't of already bought this record last year you definitely made me want to check it out.

Hawks
July 17th 2008



33885 Comments


Very good first review. I still need to get this album.

Digging: Lord Mantis - Death Mask

SHOOTME
July 17th 2008



2393 Comments


Damn it, you're already better than me.

Awesome review, especially for a first.

ThePriceofBeauty
July 17th 2008



72 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks alot.

beans
July 17th 2008



2332 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

good first review man welcome

always liked these guys but they can get old very fast

ThePriceofBeauty
July 18th 2008



72 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Originally posted by bunit9488

good first review man welcome

always liked these guys but they can get old very fast


In that case, just listen to them sparingly, sometimes they can quench your thirst for heaviness if your in the mood.This Message Edited On 07.17.08

asdemonsburn
July 18th 2008



793 Comments


My neighbor was blaring some annoying mexican type reggae rap music junk the other day and it was soo annoying! I did what any sane person would do, i played the "i'm going to be more obnoxious" game. I Threw in The Ills Of Modern Man by Despised Icon and cranked it up to about 22. I was rocking out playing air guitar in the kitchen and whatnot, and i still had 8 clicks of volume to go. Needles to say she's been quiet since



ThePriceofBeauty
July 18th 2008



72 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Originally posted by asdemonsburn
I Threw in The Ills Of Modern Man by Despised Icon and cranked it up to about 22.

....why only 22?This Message Edited On 07.18.08

megalodon
July 18th 2008



108 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Crank it as high as it will go before your speakers blow.

gasmaskman
July 18th 2008



1006 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Very good review.
One of the better "deathcore" bands out there... then again they pretty much made it popular.

ThePriceofBeauty
July 18th 2008



72 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Originally posted by gasmaskman
Very good review.
One of the better "deathcore" bands out there... then again they pretty much made it popular.

Nah I'd say All Shall Perish did a damn good job at that.This Message Edited On 07.18.08

botb
July 18th 2008



9492 Comments


^^agreed and all shall perish owns so much face. this is really good though. and these guys slay live.

Wizard
July 18th 2008



19202 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

[b]Despised Icon[/]b

Coding is a bitch sometimes!

Good first review and welcome to the site ThePriceofBeauty.

Terrible, terrible album.


Digging: The Austerity Program - Beyond Calculation

gasmaskman
July 18th 2008



1006 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Nah I'd say All Shall Perish did a damn good job at that."

They did do it, but Despised Icon practically created the trend.

iamthenightmare
July 18th 2008



754 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

They were one of the first no doubt.
great review for a great album

Wizard
July 18th 2008



19202 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

but Despised Icon practically created the trend.

Actually, they are part of retarded deathcore scene that is located in Quebec, Canada. They are part of the group, no single credit can be given to them.


WARisalliknow91
July 18th 2008



493 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Awesome Album from an awesome band. Although I am sure there are haters aside from wizard who have yet to make their presence known in this review.

Awesome review. I think it covered it accurately although i feel this album is 4 worthy.

(Gave it a 4.5 so we even out :p)This Message Edited On 07.18.08

ThePriceofBeauty
July 19th 2008



72 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Haha yeah well the repetitive sound and song structure/formula brought it down a bit. If they could mature a little more, and break away from the Deathcore title they would be much better in my eyes.

boristhebladexx
August 16th 2008



61 Comments


this band is terrible



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