Review Summary: Retaliation could be what The Holy Guile's debut is all about. Maybe not, but in reference to the reaction of the defunct unit before, it could be considered as a well written form of catharsis in the shape of a very promising first release.2 of 2 thought this review was well written
Saud Ahmed is a name that says many things. In one word someone could define his music as assimilationcore; a concoction of various modern metal and hardcore elements in a very distinctive and familiar fashion, and Plainly you can hear this man's work from chugging miles away. His new side made main project, The Holy Guile, was on the radar in 2011, as a backlash to vast amounts of hatred expressed towards his previous group's sophomore album. One could argue that The Crimson Armada was a solid carbon copy of popular deathcore and metalcore outfits and at most times during its tender provoked much interest and annoyance amongst its fans. "Guardians" provided a semi-atypical setlist of tight thrashy deathcore tunes, placing The Crimson Armada in its debut days on a podium of the public eye as a potential icon for the genre. "Convictions" evicted this possibility with a cruel notice bolted into the door of the band, with a nail so long it closelined the entire fanbase and the lineup for the group. Some in favour of the generic change, while some in absolute hatred for the band's betrayal to their first release's overall construct.
Yet, here we have Saud's next installment; The Holy Guile.
F.S.U, the obvious abbreviation, is in all respects a solid release. Variety in lyrics with a constant motion of topic. Solid and diverse riff writing with a few surprises in structure and versatility, and the backdrop of drums and bass take a new front in being innovative yet tame in some respects in regards to the overall sound and direction each song partakes in. The four songs from the "Guardians 2.0" release , two tracks being "Fap Fap" and "Cool Story" ringing the familiar sound of retaliation and brutality from the EP. First impressions last, and honestly I was in two minds about these songs. While being very fast and aggressive with melodies that are furious and well-thought of, the programming and flurry of vocals often left the songs a tad messy for my tastes. However, move past these four tracks and you are presented with very fresh and different creations from the Saud and his team. "Hey Zeus" follows the template of angst filled monologue but holds its own by being one of the best tracks on the album musically, alongside "Idahoe". Well paced and catchy hooks in both melody and lyrics, the boys from Ohio are definitely bringing a different take on the whole scene, which is especially shown "Pac'alypse" being the most melodic and flexible on the album. "Idahoe" shoves an attitude riddled rap sequence which could have been hacked from Hacktivist's bank of ideas, but it has its own texture to it with the track being the catchiest from THC to date.
However, some tracks do not really convince me of this new found renewal of originality. While "The Celebration" is a noteworthy song musically, the lyrics are erratic and often misplaced in the atmospheric orb of chug and dark scales. Maybe he was "trolling" here, but such a rhythmic piece is kind of ruined by the hashtag routine of unimaginative verses. "Ugly Biddie" vulgarly fills the space to shock and amuse, and it disappoints in comparison to the rest of the album.
For a DIY album, The Holy Guile has definitely taken a massive step forward. It is almost unjust to compare it to The Crimson Armada but one cannot help but to build a comparative due to the nature of this situation. Love them or hate them, The Holy Guile along with all its flaws is a positive progression, and the overall vocal and instrumental performance may not be entirely sublime to everyone but it does show a positive turn for the best.
Retaliation could be what The Holy Guile's debut is all about. Maybe not, but in reference to the reaction of the defunct unit before, it could be considered as a well written form of catharsis in the shape of a very promising first release.