Review Summary: Quality deathcore, I swear it exists!
Camilla Rhodes was a five-piece band out of Quebec, Canada that played a brand of hardcore tinged with death metal stylings (occasional death metal riff, low growls) resulting in the popular deathcore label. In 2008 they released their sophomore (and final) full-length, entitled The Onyx Sun, which they produced themselves before disbanding in 2009. I was shocked upon learning that this was a self-produced album because everything sounds professionally done in terms of arrangements and mixing. In fact, as far as deathcore goes, this might be the premier album in terms of audible bass licks. You’ll hear them right from the opening track, dancing behind the (not always) chugging riffs and impressive drum-kit work. Orthostatic Intolerance is a great track that seems to stand out as being uniquely put together. The band has no problem playing at break-neck speeds. Ex The Plasmarifle drummer Jade Simonetto really stands out on a lot of tracks with his impressive fills. The vocals on the album are delivered in two different styles: a medium ranged hardcore shout handles most sections, while a low death growl comes in for some of the heavier moments of the album. For those of you who are turned off the “pig squeal” type of delivery, you might want to avoid this disc because Ben Landreville experimented with them quite a bit here. Same thing goes for breakdowns. The breakdowns found on this album aren’t bad by any stretch of the imagination, in fact a lot of them are well placed and greatly executed. On the whole, however, most people will feel that they are in excess.
As is the case with most deathcore, the average ear will probably hear most of these songs start to ‘bleed together’. Over time though I feel like this album has potential for lasting power. Fed Upon Mercy is a track that starts off slow by the bands standards, but it’s the one song on this album that features a guitar solo. I can’t say it’s a solo that was overly impressive but it was a nice change of pace. Growing a Seed in Waterproof Soil is a great display of the bands’ ability to play fast, with every member of the band shining through (even the bassist). Though the vocals are consistently varied, lots of people will be turned away by the lower growls. But at the end of the day, this is an album which should be talked about in any conversation involving 'top deathcore releases'.