Review Summary: In what tends to be a genre surrounded by bands that mirror each other, Signal The Firing Squad prove they possibly can be a standout due primarily to one factor.
Plenty of deathcore bands pass on through nowadays dropping an EP or LP and are never to be heard of again. In a genre with a plethora of bands, what tends to make popular names such as All Shall Perish and Whitechapel to name a few stand out are great vocal performances. From the very first scream to his final breath on the album, the vocals of Kyson Shepherd offer an ear-piercing and very pleasing performance.
The opening track presents an ambiance that is as eerie as the covert art of the album itself, and then leads into some heavy blast beats followed by a shrieking scream. What is presented in “Pre-Destruction” is a sign of things to come, as Signal The Firing Squad inflict from start to finish the kind of relentless and punishing assault listeners of the genre want to hear. Throughout the album a heavy use of blast beats and breakdowns plus the excellent vocals mentioned above fuel this assault. Many will dismiss the use of breakdowns, but if a band knows how to use them tastefully such as STFS then it’s not a problem. While this may seem generic and boring to some, there are moments where the guitar work stands out.
An unexpected solo is dropped about halfway through “Birthing the Naught”. Short yet effective, it adds a nice break from the continuous formula and some most important variety. The opening of “Obliteration Of the Ages” is another example of this. The aforementioned song is my personal favorite due to its difference lyrically. The lyrics speak of how we’ve raped our Earth and need to save it. This is uncommon because many bands sing of how they want to destroy the world. This is just a small minor detail hopefully showing that this band can bring some variety into a genre that is plagued at times by dissimilarity.
It is hard to come onto the scene and offer something that has not been heard before. Offering a kind of instrumentation that has not been heard before is not done by many deathcore bands, nor is it done by Signal The Firing Squad. However this does not take anything away from the record, and that is the case for Earth Harvest. With excellent vocals to carry them, I have a feeling this will not be last we hear of this band.