Review Summary: A unique mixture of Tech Deathcore and Progressive parts, makes for an interesting listen.
As one of the few people on this site who still finds Deathcore enjoyable, I am constantly listening to random Myspace/Last.fm bands.I'm always hoping to find something worthwhile.Unfortunately, most of the bands i find, are god aweful Suicide Silence/Whitechapel clones.Luckily (for once) this was not the case.
Enter A Thousand Times Repent.
A Thousand Times Repent is
Chris Van Valkenburg-Guitar
A Thousand Times Repent is an up and coming Deathcore band, who just this year signed to Tribunal Records, and re-released their EP Virtue Has Few Friends.They are a band that simply states "Our art is our diary."As you might guess from the name they are indeed a Christian band.This is really only relevent in the lyrics,in fact most of the lyrics are not in traditional form, and can very easily be interpreted in another way.(except the last track.)
The opener Curses! Another Shape-Shifting Wraith, Take Me to the Witch of the Waste...We Have Much to Discuss, and So Much for Middle Earth are all straight forward slabs of technical Deathcore.While the songs A Band of Hunters Stalk in Edo, and That Was the Night Everything Changed, deliver the same crushing sound of the other tracks.However they also feature very pleasant surprises. They come in the form of atmospheric ambient parts, ala Opeth or Between the Buried and Me.They do not feel forced or out of place as one might think. They actually feel quite natural and fit along with the flow of the overall EP quite nicely.These parts help to further separate this band from the deathcore pack,and show you that their not all breakdowns and blast beats.
The last track Complete Relinquish Utter Abandon came as a complete surprise to me.As it is not heavy in the slightest. In fact it's a ballad of sorts, featuring only the singer and a piano.This was the last thing i expected to find on a Deathcore record, but it like the soft parts in the other songs, was yet another very pleasant surprise.This is not some half-witted gimmick either it's a fullout ballad.Darsen really shines here proving that he can sing with just as much power and emotion as
when he screams.The lyrical content in this song may annoy some, as this is just him calling out to God, saying he'll wait for him and that he's his.
All of these songs(minus the last track) feature all the aspects that the "br00tal kids" love. Breakdowns check,pig squeals uh huh, rediculously long song titles you betcha!Don't be fooled though, the musicianship in these songs, is definitely far more complex,and intricate than your standard deathcore fare.It being more reminiscent of, The Red Chord or Glass Casket, rather than Suicide Silence or Carnifex.
The 3 guitarists Nate, Chris D., and Chris V.(which i'll admit i had no idea there was 3 until i wrote this review) show off some amazing talent by doing some nice sweep picking, and playing some interesting and creative riffs, in between chugs.The drummer Shannon has some very nice fills,has a pretty fast double kick, and does a good job of keeping things interesting.
The bassist Blake, when audible, plays some above average stuff , but never really does anything, that really shines.The vocalist Darsen has quite an incredible range, going from the lowest growls and highest screams, to some surprisingly good singing.Also he writes fairly interesting, catchy lyrics i feel a few of the best lines are "They're opportunists at best,they're opportunists at least.A death dealer peddling,peddlers dealing in death" from A Band of Hunters Stalk in Edo and "Some crowns darken the heads the dress and with devils on their thrones...kingdoms will spoil" from That was the Night Everything Changed.
A couple things that annoyed me, along with most other bands in this genre, is the overabundance of breakdowns.Don't get me wrong, there are a couple of great ones here,see the end of Curses! and So Much For Middle Earth.Unfortunately most of them on here are all standard, chug chug breakdowns.Which is really disheartening, as there is some very impressive musicianship to be found on this EP.I don't see why they had to resort to such simple breakdowns when i know their capable of so much more.Something that may also turn others away is the overuse of pig squeals.I feel they like breakdowns are good when used sparingly.Sadly, that is not the case here.
In conclusion I feel that this band is doing something remotely original.Their unique mixture of Tech Deathcore with Progressive parts, makes for an interesting listen.I also feel that if they dropped most of the brees and breakdowns, they could be one of the best bands in their genre.
If your into Deathcore at all then i'm pretty certain you'll love this band.If you don't however, i advise you check em out anyway, if only to hear the more softer moments of the EP.
Impressive musicianship all around.
The soft ambient parts of the 2nd and 4th tracks
The closing ballad.
An overabundance of breakdowns and pig squeals.
People will write them off just because their Christian and Deathcore.