Review Summary: Making all other deathcore irrelevant since 2002! (almost)
To be completely upfront- this CD makes Whitechapel and Suicide Silence look like pop bands. America's Most Haunted is a journey into a beautiful mix of accessibility for heavy music fans while still pushing the "extreme" genres. The Florida band do a lot of things right with AMH. However, they can't seem to escape a few of the pitfalls from making this a 4 or 4.5. Take the CD with a little grain of salt: it's their first full-length. Even All Shall Perish was mediocre at best on their first release. King Conquer are polar opposites of what seems to be nothing but disappointing deathcore debut CD's.
All Shall Perish have progressed to incorporate clean vocals and noodly guitar passages in their newer works. Oceano have progressed to straight un-listenability. Job For A Cowboy have left deathcore as a whole and have turned into a dumbed-down tech death metal band. If there's any definition for just straight up, good deathcore: it's King Conquer. If the genre as a whole isn't your thing, chances are you won't agree. If this is your thing however, read on. You have probably discovered a worthwhile CD.
King Conquer is:
Adam Whited- Bass Guitar
The good: The vocals. They reach indecipherable lows, and soar to screeching highs. James runs rampant through every track, using rapid-fire growls, gutterals, and tough-guy hardcore yells. Chris' vocals in themselves are impressive. He utilizes a mid-scream as well that is accompanied with an above average tone. The lyrics are above average as well. Every member of the band wrote lyrics for at least one of the songs. Adam wrote "Turmoil Before Enlightenment," which is about his constant battle with multiple sclerosis (he had to re-learn all of their songs twice because of it). The drumming (talent-wise) is great, keeping up with the trend of great deathcore drummers. Chris adds to his great vocal work with great cymbal usage, euro and straight blasting, and good kick drum polyrhythms. In addition, the kick drum sounds great on this CD. It's clear, crisp, punchy, and not too clicky/triggered sounding. The production guitar-wise is amazing. The tones achieved are heavy, clear, and distinct. Riffs are also above average (see "Wasted Potential" and "America's Most Haunted"). There is absolutely NO filler in the actual songs (excluding "Overdraft" and "Frequencies"), and songs do not suffer from being too lengthy or repetitive. "Return To Sender" features a mellow acoustic strumming riff for a few minutes before breaking into an above average breakdown to finish it off. "Trash Can Alley" is probably the best song on AMH for a few reasons: the eerie intro and outro riff. The breakdowns do not succumb to boring chugs, use of only one note, or too much open playing. The delay and reverb on James' screams are perfect: not too much, not too distorted, and don't take away from enunciation (when applicable).
The bad: Yes, there's songs about the government. That in itself isn't a bad thing. But, mixed in with seemingly every heavy band's need to write about it, it sure is. The first real track "Six Gallon Gasoline Stomach" is plagued by THREE f words in ONE sentence. Too much. The drums are sound-sampled (most albums are these days) which also in itself isn't a bad thing. The only problem is that the drums sampled in don't sound good. The snare and toms sound muddy and robotic during fast fills or blast beat passages. As mentioned before though, the kick drum sounds great, however it's mixed way too low in the mix for my liking. Around track 9, the songs CAN start to run together if it's your first few times listening to AMH. "3 Axle" and "Unborn Existence" are the two weakest tracks on the CD, as they contain some of the least-interesting riffs and breakdowns on the record. The bass work is almost inaudible, and the tone of it just doesn't sound good. It's too processed, too EQ'd, and too robotic. Individual strikes on the strings go completely unnoticed, as the instrument as a whole just runs together. To be honest it's a below-average production attempt on a very important aspect of a heavy CD. On a less-revelant subject, the artwork for AMH is cliche with a small hint of bad. Overall though, there's just not much to dislike about this.
This is a great deathcore CD when it boils down to it. If this is your thing, I highly recommend checking this out. If this isn't your thing, possibly give it a try as well, you could be surprised. America's Most Haunted is one of the better deathcore releases in the past few years.
Six Gallon Gasoline Stomach
Trash Can Alley
Stay Away From: