Review Summary: This album is honestly Chelsea Grin’s peak.
My Damnation is the second full length effort by Utah based deathcore outfit Chelsea Grin. This album absolutely shows what the band does at its best and that is to deliver extremely punishing deathcore at an insane pace. For those looking for innovators in the genre, you’re absolutely not gonna get that here at all. But, what you will get is an incredibly refined album that shows the genre is at its best in a multitude of ways. Let’s get into it.
The opening track “The Foolish One” sets off to make an incredible loud and angry first impression. Former vocalist, Alex Koehler shouts and scowls at his absolute best on this record. Granted, the slam styled pig squeals have taken a backseat on this record when compared to Desolation of Eden. But, his range is absolutely on top with plenty of shrills, shrieks, lows and frenetic screams tossed in throughout this record. The vocal performances on tracks like “Everlasting Sleep” and “Last Breath” are some of my favorites performed by Alex Koehler. Plus, with guest cameos featured by Phil Bozeman from Whitechapel & Nate Johnson who used to be in Fit for an Autopsy. You got an album that will batter you with some powerful vocals throughout the experience.
The guitar work is all about the chugs, My Damnation is all about bringing the heavy throughout the entire record. But you get an insane amount of melodic groove that’s not found in many deathcore records. Songs like “Oblivion” really carry that groove forward and don’t let up at all. The breakdowns are also some of the best in the genre as many of them will pummel you senselessly. The down-tuned guitars, tight drums and eerily bass all add up to the assault on your senses when the breakdowns really kick in. The production may sound tinny and cheap at first. But the more you listen to this record, the more you begin to hear everything else flow together seamlessly. The band was able truly see their vision with this record for a sound that truly fits the bands style. A stylistic choice for sure when it came to the music production.
Plus, while Chelsea Grin is practically known for their heaviness. It is cool that you will get an occasional solo thrown in on the album to mix things up a bunch and that really adds a good layer of depth to this record. The calm interlude on Kharon also adds plenty of personality to this record to show that the band is willing to calm down for just a brief moment before chaos insures again.
My Damnation is honestly the peak of Chelsea Grin’s career and one of the most refined deathcore records I have ever listened to. Some may call this “boring” or “generic” when it comes to describing the steps Chelsea Grin took to writing this record. But it’s a great record that shows off what the deathcore genre is all about. Groovy riffs, insane breakdowns and sick vocal performances. Those three focuses add up to make a monster record that will not let up at all.
Favorite tracks: Oblivion, Everlasting Sleep, Last Breath, The Foolish One & My Damnation.