Review Summary: A relatively mixed bag of covers from groups of young, essentially unknown deathcore artists.
Oh, Count Your Blessings,
Never has an album been as hated as much as it has influenced an entire genre. Sure, you could make your Despised Icon
or Suicide Silence
or All Shall Perish
or whatever argument, who’re unarguably just as responsible for everybody's favorite metal genre; but nothing grabbed hold of the genre’s nuts like our good ol’ scene crew Bring Me the Horizon
. Seriously For everytime Oli Sykes says he didn’t know what the hell he doing when making this record, there’s 10 other wannabe luggachugchug coar bands doing the same exact thing while posting their “Pray for Plagues (Band Cover) on youtube. Fo’ realsies broskie, you could just search that tagline in the search bar and just scroooooolllllll for hours (overstatement).
But for every argument that CYB is stoopid “generic chug deathcore”, I will gladly provide the counter point that, CYB may only sound like generic core because CYB is simply the foundation of coar bands, generic sounding albums. CYB isn’t generic, CYB has a unique sound that no other band at the time or even today could copy, bands poorly copying CYB just make it sound generic.
Simply put, its core science.
So having bands literally copying CYB’s form in form of a tribute and added fresh take would showcase the bright talent that the future of core holds. Well, in theory.
And this album, tests this theory.
With updated production, guitars with more than 6 strings and 13 years of other influences past yours truly, it would be interesting (and fun) to see how the young guns of the genre look now covering one of the ol grandaddy's of core.
Well you read the summary
You see, the first issue you will immediately
hear once your start off on Decayer’s Pray for Plagues
, is that, there is, a *** ton of production going on. The simple backends of the o.g album are gone, now that we have new fancy “guitar layering” and “vocal effects”, contrary to just smashing it all together in one session in your mom's garage, which usually should be a good thing except that,
A). Production on some songs is literal dog***
B). The punch of some of the instrumentals hit like a toddler, somehow managing to be less heavier than their 6 strung counter parts.
Granted, this massive exaggeration is mostly credited to like 3 songs, but still is a prevailing issue to the entire album. (Fifteen Fathoms Counting
is disregarded from Point B). Now to be fair, just about all of these bands are underdeveloped with at best 1 LP release, so a lack of experience is to be expected.
Now, I know a “song by song” review is heavily frowned upon here in these parts, but considering the lack of consistent sound (aside from the 0 string) and having actually 10 different bands, I’ve decided to place these covers in a Smash Bros esque tier list, ranging from (S) tier
: “Wonderful Cover with Said Bands Own Unique Spin” to (F) tier
: ”Literal Garbage”
- Tell Slater Not to Wash His Dick
- Off the Heezay[+], Fifteen Fathoms Counting[-]
- Black and Blue[+], Pray for Plagues, Liquor & Lost Love[-]
- A Lot Like Vegas, Slow Dance
- (I Used to Make Out with) Medusa
- Braille (For Stevie Wonder’s Eyes Only)
First of all, Tell Slater…
is an absolutely terrific cover and it captures what I personally think Bring Me the Horizon would sound like if they were still a deathcore band today. The production isn’t over bearing, the vocals are not only well produced, but actually sound unique to their own right. The Guitars don’t try and overshadow the vocals yet they have their own layer of heaviness that fit right behind them perfectly. The use of “There is a Hell…”
style symphonics towards the end of the track was an absolutely wonderful idea that pays a serious homage to Bring Me the Horizons
own style. I have never heard of this band beforehand, but I sure as hell am now. Incredible job.
Off the Heezay
does much of the same in regards of keeping a tightly knit production standard while adding a heavily influenced new wave of deathcore style to the track. The song is incredibly slammy, and while maybe a bit to much for some, does a ***ing wonderful job at being the heaviest song in the album. Fifteen Fathoms also finds its way in A tier, because you would need to be ***in stoopid to screw that track up. But it does what Bmth’s version did, soft, nice and cozy. The added use of more bass in the production could be obnoxious to some, but I feel it adds another layer of cozy the previous version didn’t have before. I would only assume a band named Boy Eats Girl
don’t sport any of their own soft instrumentals, but they sure do fine job here.
The next 3 songs essentially can be pinned down by the fact that they are yes, Heavier, and yes, add a few extra “Spices” to their instrumentals. Pray for Plagues is just way moar brootal, Black and Blue
doing the same thing and Liquor & Lost Love adding actual riffs here and there giving it a nice metalcore touch, a nice break from all these breakdowns.
The songs in C tier are B tier songs with worse production, more usage of generic new wave coar tuning. Nothing more nothing less.
Medusa, lying in D tier has, interesting?(notation needed) vocals, but is just lacking any type of punch or well sounding instruments.
Now F tier,
is disgustingly garbage, the vocals and instrumentals do not sound comfortable with each other, it feels as if there was little effort done to make it a cover song more than it felt like a band given lyrics and notes to just play and be done with. It's a combination of sloppy, bland and generic. More proof that the band just sounds bored with track is exemplified the atrociously bland spoken part at 3:37.
Count Your Blessings sounds generic when in put in the context of generic bands next to it, and it could only be assumed that to have to stood up to do a cover song for a tribute album for them would give the idea CYB influenced you and your musical tastes. It could easily be said that half the songs here don’t do BMTH any justice, and really, they don’t. But for every song that lacks a certain uniqueness, there's another one on the direct counterpart showing a little more potential. For Every Braille
Cover, there's a Slater
cover. So does this turn out to be a good album? Nah, as an album it manages to be a stylistic mess despite all the bands being in the same genre covering the same band in that same bands album. It’s an issue of being a young band in an over-saturated genre. But like most compilations of this sort, it's easy to pick out a few great songs, and suffer no loss of excluding any other songs that do nothing for it.
I, personally, Count about 4 Blessings