Despised Icon
The Healing Process


2.5
average

Review

by Tyler Munro EMERITUS
August 31st, 2006 | 25 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist


Before a genre debate is sparked, the band is often pinned down as being deathcore. I feel that's a rather limiting malapropism; the band is primarily rooted in Death Metal, with a distinct grind and (on a lesser note) hardcore influence being present, and therefore Death Metal is how they are being classified, regardless of the scene in which they're often related to.

Is it just me, or is basically ever new band coming out of the metal scene doing the exact same thing? After a while, mixing Hardcore, Death Metal and Grind all starts to sound the same. That is, however, not to say that some bands don't do it better than others. While lacking a definitive grind element, Between the Buried and Me have taken metalcore to a new level of creativity with their progressive penchants. Bands such as Glass Casket and the Red Chord are doing their share of work at melding grind and death metal with a finite touch of –core. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, another force to be reckoned with comes out of the technically inclined metal breeding grounds of Montreal. Despised Icon has appeared out of the woodworks with no sign of letting up with their second full length. With The Healing Process, they've signed their name right up there with the best of ‘em.

Imagine sitting on your front lawn, reading, drinking, whatever, only to suddenly and inexplicably be hit by a freight train. That, in a nutshell, is Despised Icon's sound. The band is huge, due in part to their usage of dual vocalists. There seems to be sort of a stigma surrounding the dual vocalist approach, thanks in part (I suppose) to the post hardcore/screamo scene, but make no qualms about it; there is no sing/scream alternation on this album. Each vocalist, while different, upholds an overwhelming amount of brutality in their voices. The vocals are all over the map, but they never become overly varied to a point where it becomes distracting. One vocalist handles the more hardcore styled screams and shouts, while the other handles the guttural growls and occasional pig shriek. Thankfully, the piggish squeals, while not as limited as I'd like, are sparse enough to reciprocate with the other styles, adding to the brutality as opposed to having it coming off as forced and unnecessary.

The sheer heavy and pitiless sound of the band is not limited to the vocals. The drums are fast, precise and crushing, finding their way through gravity blasted grind parts to slower, neck-snapping breakdowns. The guitarists, while not overly technical, do a great job at accentuating the chaos. From buzzsaw guitars to half-time breakdowns, the guitars are about as spastic and precise as you'd expect from such a release. The bass, while virtually inaudible for the majority of the album, clearly does a great job in adding to the low end of the album. Since The Healing Process is such a crushing album, the bass is integral, and while the bassist rarely, if ever, strays from following the drums and guitars, it plays a vital role in keeping the album so crushing. While the album is not without technically precise instrumentalism, that is clearly not the focus. It is, however, very indicative of just how talented the band is, as they effortlessly shift tempo and time, keeping it complicated without making it unlistenable. With ‘The Healing Process', Despised Icon has chosen rather to pummel the listener repeatedly, which is a main attraction to the band and album. Sadly, the constant brutality is also the albums bane. Clocking in at a miniscule 32 minutes, there's little to no variation on the album. While the songs fluctuate and change at the drop of a needle, the vocals are varied and the guitars and drums change styles often, when placed several times throughout a song, it all begins to sound the same. Because the band plays in spastic chunks, cycling through blast beats, breakdowns and the like, the songs seem to more or less run together. While reviewing this, I had listened to it nearly two times without even realising, and I suppose that can be both a positive and negative. My only other real complaint is aimed at the guitarists. Pinch harmonics can be pretty cool, no doubt, just not when they're relied upon during every single breakdown.

To put it simply, this is more or less a good album. While it does have its fault, such as a short playtime and a lack of variation between songs, it does stand its ground at being a major player in the budding "Death-Core' scene. For people who want to hear the more brutal side of things, I highly recommend this album. For people looking to have their minds blown, well, you might want to look elsewhere.

Alexandre Erian - Vocals
Steve Marois - Vocals
Yannick St-Amand - Guitar
Éric Jarrin - Guitar
Sebastien Piché - Bass
Alex Pelletier - Drums



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user ratings (277)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Tyler
Emeritus
August 31st 2006


7926 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

These guys are actually pretty big, mostly among "the scene", if you will.

Yeah, their drummer is a machine, much like the guy in Beneath the Massacre, though not as triggered.

Tyler
Emeritus
August 31st 2006


7926 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Quebec.

I see kids in Despised Icon shirts all the time here in Toronto, which is in Ontario.

Cravinov13
August 31st 2006


3854 Comments


I think this band is pretty good. Good review too.

gigi666
August 31st 2006


257 Comments


Yes finally reviewed this ! I found about about this band 4 - 5 month ago through metalinjection! Some really tight playing i must say

Shadows
Moderator
September 1st 2006


2530 Comments


I've known about these guys for a while but I don't care for them.

Tyler
Emeritus
September 1st 2006


7926 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yeah, I'm on the fence. I like the album, I really do, but I dont see them going any further because they already fail to differentiate between songs.

diefamous
September 1st 2006


281 Comments


You say they are huge because of dual vocalists. Check out Dying Fetus, they have 3.

ChrisAdlerisGod
September 2nd 2006


474 Comments


I heard the single on HeadBangers Ball and i thought it was alright. The vocals kinda turned me off of it. But the drumming....WOOOOOOOOOOOOW.......

DirtySouthernBlood69
May 16th 2007


26 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this band is good. i just started listening to them. if any of you guys like them you will probably like job for a cowboy. pretty sick.

Tyler
Emeritus
May 16th 2007


7926 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I kind of hate this now but this was my attempt at being ridiculously objective.

badsocks
December 29th 2007


3 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

not the most creative albums around but if you like heavy music with a grindcore influence, it's a keeper.

Confessed2005
December 29th 2007


3314 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Drummer is very talented. Their latest album is quite good.

jpattison
August 15th 2008


125 Comments


i liked them a few years back
now hearing them again it makes me want to die

bigguy69
July 27th 2009


199 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Dying Fetus don't have 3 lead vocalists though :S they just do backups while playing their other instruments..countless bands do this.

note: this comment in response to diefamous

Zwiebel
October 13th 2010


45 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album is fun. Don't understand all the hate for these guys. They were one of the better in the genre imo.

XfingTheSullen
November 5th 2011


2801 Comments


I've only heard one song but it's definitely much more intense than the stuff off their following two albums.

MudIdol
December 25th 2011


582 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This bands best album right hurr. Nice and slammy which is fantastic.

jayfatha
December 25th 2011


2882 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nah The Ills of Modern Man is best

XfingTheSullen
December 28th 2011


2801 Comments


The ills are less heavy and more boring than say, day of mourning. Plus they have pig squeals, so no.

Spec
February 22nd 2012


27269 Comments


ha cocaine was talking to himself

Digging: Midnight - No Mercy for Mayhem



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