Review Summary: Unique and genre changing? No. But it is still, nonetheless, a really good album.
The Last Ten Seconds of Life is a deathcore band from Meadville, Pennsylvania and formed in 2010. To date the band has released two EP's and a full length album. Know Your Exits is their full length effort. While the album, to be completely honest, doesn't bring anything new to the table structure-wise, they bring something a bit unique when it comes to style. On top of that, they are one of the more heavier deathcore bands I have heard in quite a while.
The album opens up with "Mansfield" which is an instrumental intro. Nothing special. Most deathcore albums begin with an instrumental intro nowadays. "Cutthroat" then comes in and is complete brutality from start to finish. "You Can't Turn A Ho Into A Housewife" comes in. Pretty heavy track but the lyrics, unfortunately, cause it to suffer. That's the main complaint I have. The lyrics have little to no thought or emotion behind them (with the exception of "Pecan Pie" but the title kind of kills that too). "A Face Among The Flames" has a guest appearance from Carson Slovak of Century (I have never heard of either).
Then the instrumental interlude comes. "The Rain Will Come" is pretty chilled and relaxed. A good interlude that saved the album from getting stale for me. "Pecan Pie" is after that and I already mentioned it so I'll move on. "Yo Ladies" features a guest appearance from Tyler Guida from Dr. Acula
. Just warning, if you do not life Dr. Acula, stay away from this track. This song is a definite reminder of the styles of Dr. Acula. Undoubtedly my least favorite track in the entire album.
The next track is my second favorite on the album. "Afflictions" focuses less on brutality and more on melody and technicality and the lyrics are about not being proud of the things you have done in the past or who you were in the past which is something that I think everyone can relate to. On top of all that, the breakdown is quite possibly the best breakdown on the whole album. The song is the best structured on the entire abum. The next track is "Resolve." It is another instrumental interlude track. The guitars have a pretty cool progression going on this track but can get repetitive.
The album closes with "Muck." It is the longest song on the album (clocks in at 6:34) and is my favorite of the whole album. The lyrics deal with feeling alone and not knowing who you are anymore, which is something that I can completely agree with, as can a lot of people that are in this world. The guitars show a lot of technicality, riffing, and melody-driven playing that isn't present throughout about 3/4 of the album. This track is the perfect closer to the album and is, more than likely, what saved this album from a 3.
Overall, the album is exactly unique or genre changing but is very fun. The first third of the album (1-4) is very breakdown driven. Something that fans of Upon A Burning Body
will more than likely be a fan of. The second third of the album (5-8) focuses on being heavy and nothing else. And the last third of the album (9, 10, and 11) is what the fans of technicality, melody, and thought provoking lyrics will enjoy.
As far as style is concerned, the structure itself is typical deathcore. The production for the album, however, is not. While typical deathcore production consists of a snare tuned so tight and thin it sounds like the drummer is substituting it for a steel pan, the drums sounds full, thick and has reverb layered on it (sort of like a Joey Sturgis kit). The guitars of typical deathcore production are so distorted that you can barely make out the notes, the guitars on this album has the tones of most metalcore/post-hardcore releases. Distortion that provides a thick, chunky tone but not too distorted and the notes can be clearly heard. The production of this album is very-much a contributing factor to why I still gave it a high rating even with some generic playing in the album. Another thing that caught my ear was the guitar's tuning. Most guitars are tuned to Drop A. But this band took it further. Most, if not all the songs on this album are played in Drop G.
The bottom line is if you're looking for something new, unique, and something that could possibly change the face of deathcore, then you need to look somewhere else. If you want something brutal, catchy, and heavy, then this is the album for you.
Lyrics (on last-half of album)
Lyrics (on first-half of album)
Tyler Guida's guest appearance