Review Summary: [insert band with dragon title here]
Welcome to this slapstick debut EP, which claims both deathcore and power metal to it. Such a combination of genres, such a cheesy/brutal event should pack a punch, and it does. It brings to mind Devin Townsend Project’s Addicted
, a blend of over-the-top heaviness and choruses with oomph. Ready or not, here it shreds, but unlike hide-and-seek this EP is immediately in your face. Either you’re whipped with nasty harsh vocals, or blasted with high powered, clean vocals (Dragonforce worship, which also comes through the technical riffs), there is no escape. It can be too much, especially during one faux breakdown, which uses cleans > harsh vocals just to mix it up - it is an abomination. Tracks are connected with cheekily growl-talked bits, introducing the story of gods and typical power metal epics fare; of course, it is completely cringey. Unfortunately, the lyrics are impossible to figure out when the deathcore growls growl during riffs so why bother trying to decipher lyrics? Nay, it’s all about the music, and the refreshing or obscure smoothie with unique flavours, perhaps undigestible for some, but at least it sounds creative.
Dragoncorpse’s collision of genres favours deathcore. More proper breakdowns would’ve felt more authentic, a minor point, but the EP likewise feels artificial. Their collision of styles is certainly cheesy enough to adhere to their selected genres - in spirit - but certain pitfalls prevent me from seeing the band as more than a gimmick. Their power metal inspiration is as generic as it comes, a vibrato-heavy singer leads the pack to overblown notes, and choruses with air scraping singing. Unfortunately, the melodic pattern of chords and riffs is generic at best, and at worst flaccid. Both the guitar tone and production style of the EP could be faulted as well. No matter how you look at it, Dragoncorpse are much more convincing as a chunky, dumb deathcore act bringing bicep curl riffs.
Though there’s a “symphonic” aspect, it isn’t particularly special or memorable. In terms of an atmosphere, the EP struggles to settle on one and half of the time feels rather lifeless and, like I said, artificial. Blood and Stones does better on that front, but it’s little solace. One can generally expect half-assed “creepy” atmospherics of deathcore to be around as part of the contract, yet not contributing anything significantly memorable to their sound. Add the short runtime of the EP, and their effort goes from track to track, in one ear and out the other. They blow their load with their best chorus in the first track, combined with their one memorable - completely generic, but effective enough - breakdown.
I’m not sure why I have so much to say about this cornball EP, but perhaps it’s because I’m disappointed. Deathcore meets power metal is an awesome idea on paper, and what they play is technically impressive, their pounding riffs and drums with a great singer. In the future I want more. I want cheeseball choruses that I’ll remember, and heavy parts that produce more than just a surface scratch. There are many ways to make their package more appealing. Still, for a debut EP, you get plentiful heavy riffs and quite an interesting arrival on the scene. At the very least, it heartens to a decently budgeted B movie, one in which there are entertaining bits to laugh at. For now they’re a gimmick, for later they may be something more.