Despised Icon
Beast


2.5
average

Review

by Gameofmetal EMERITUS
July 24th, 2016 | 171 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A return to something perhaps better left in 2007.

Frankly, I don’t really think “throwback” records are a great idea in metalcore and deathcore. Hell, records in any genre made with the intent of returning to a band’s roots are iffy things by nature, more often than not becoming ventures that backfire violently. Keeping the point centered in the relevant genre camps, Miss May I and Suicide Silence both attempted this to generally mixed results, hindered mostly by a clear lack of conviction in their songwriting. It’s somewhere between hard and impossible to recapture that special energy that made an early record so effective, and trying to do just that seems to result in the opposite effect many a time. With Despised Icon’s reunion record, Beast, it seems pretty clear that they were shooting for something similar, as the album feels like it was plucked straight out of the burgeoning 2007 deathcore scene, complete with pig squeals and breakdowns galore. While it’s a fun nostalgia trip at heart, some things are simply better left in the past.

The biggest thing Despised Icon seems to be missing here is that it wasn’t their older records that impressed the most. It was when they progressed into a more technical, high intensity sound on Day of Mourning that they cemented themselves as forerunners in deathcore. The musicianship here doesn’t retain much of that technical edge except for the drumming. A lot of these songs feature blisteringly fast, quickly shifting drum work, but only regressive bottom string chuggery masquerading as riffs or sluggish half time playing that’s meant to contrast with the energetic beats. Not that there aren’t a few solid riffs here, like the spastic, mathy intro to “One Last Martini”, but they’re nothing more than just solid. The title track, a curiously bland choice for leadoff single and album closer, is really nothing more than a series of slams, chugs, and nauseous vocals over three minutes. Most tracks fall in between these two songs in quality, some dipping down and others coming up stronger. A pair of interludes serve Beast well in variety and to slow down the furious pace, with “Doomed” standing out thanks to a moody clean guitar passage. However, it’s more than a bit off when an interlude is one of the best tracks here. Despised Icon’s notable dual frontmen don’t really do them much good to boot. Alex Erian’s trademark mid ranged screams are fine, but Steve Marois, contributing all the necessary guttural growls, ear splitting screeches, and pig squeals, just sounds ragged thanks to the vocals being mixed a bit too highly. Some might think he’s just lost his touch, but comparably Day of Mourning’s vocals were mixed lower into the unrelentingly heavy music that may have covered up his weaknesses.

I’ll give Despised Icon props for one thing, and it’s that they don’t sound like they lack conviction. Beast sounds wholly convincing in its desire to return to the “glory days” of deathcore, as some might say, though just as many more would argue that deathcore either had no glory days or that they were long after this one. Beast is ferocious and high energy and flat out fun, but that’s not an excuse for regression. Breakdowns and pig squeals we can deal with, enjoy even if done right, but let’s put some worthwhile music in with it shall we?



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user ratings (198)
3.3
great
other reviews of this album
Risodo (3.5)
Despised Icon = Deathcore hope?...



Comments:Add a Comment 
Gameofmetal
Emeritus
July 24th 2016


10905 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

wanted to like it, sorry. im a shitter

p4p
July 24th 2016


1959 Comments


yeah i don't get why someone would want a 2007 deathcore revival

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
July 24th 2016


7003 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Reads more like a 3 to me, but great review

tempest--
July 24th 2016


20634 Comments


have you met user nocturnal

Gameofmetal
Emeritus
July 24th 2016


10905 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"Reads more like a 3 to me, but great review"



original rating was a 3 but i felt like i was veering more towards negative territory when i wrote this so i bumped it down. it's somewhere in between i guess

Gameofmetal
Emeritus
July 24th 2016


10905 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"have you met user nocturnal"



im gonna break his heart when he sees this.....

Spec
July 24th 2016


36236 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Had a really good time listening to this. Drapeau Noir is especially dope.

TheSpirit
July 24th 2016


27379 Comments


sweet review man. i've never listened to these guys actually; guess i won't start now

Nocturnalize
July 24th 2016


2463 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Seeing your rating makes me a sad bro but I will admit that this is a good review



I love this albums energetic, straightforward nature, with no bs involved, dxc done right imo

Gameofmetal
Emeritus
July 24th 2016


10905 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

sorry bae



"sweet review man. i've never listened to these guys actually; guess i won't start now"



idk dude day of mourning is still top tier for deathcore

Spec
July 24th 2016


36236 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

these guys and thy art is murder is the only deathcore i really like



but i like it a lot

TheSpirit
July 24th 2016


27379 Comments


thy art is murder is pretty great. also, I'll check out day of mourning

BigPleb
July 24th 2016


62242 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Check out Ills of Modern Man dude, that's their best.



This is a fun jam, hard nostalgia for these guys.

HisBelovedMaker
July 24th 2016


176 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

you give me bed bugs

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
July 24th 2016


7003 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

What are the go-to/classic bands in this genre? Not really tried it but I'm curious

Gameofmetal
Emeritus
July 24th 2016


10905 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

for me id say this band before this record, all shall perish, carnifex, whitechapel, and hell followed with. just the ones that came to mind immediately

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
July 24th 2016


7003 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Cheers, will try check some of those out

MattTD
July 24th 2016


678 Comments


Band still puts most beatdown/slam shit to shame

Good rev btw

Spec
July 24th 2016


36236 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@asleep jam thy art is murder- hate and knives exchanging hands- hiatus (if you dig nice melodic parts amidst the chaos)



trust me



AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
July 24th 2016


7003 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Cheers for the rec, will add it to the list



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