Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, DEN - 13/3
Written by: MAK on 25/01/2017 11:46:57
I remember Just a short eight years ago, that deathcore was one of the most popular subgenres in alternative music. Bands such as All Shall Perish, Despised Icon and Suicide Silence were in their prime and kicking ass everywhere they went. But just like metalcore, which was also flourishing at the time, a period shortly followed when the sub-genre felt stagnant and somewhat stale. Genre leaders either called it quits or experienced significant changes, such as the unfortunate death of Suicide Silence vocalist Mitch Lucker, that triggered a decline in interest in the style.
There has, however, been a patient resurgence in recent years. In 2014, Martyr Defiled unleashed “No Hope, No Morality” as an album that should have launched them to the top of the pecking order of deathcore acts. Thy Art is Murder followed with “Holy War” in 2015, with Despised Icon making a prolific return in 2016. Also in 2016 came “Terror Firma” by the United Kingdom's Osiah, which might not have been on everyone’s listening list — but it should have been for any fan of earth-shattering beatdowns and senseless brutality.
The Sunderland-based five-piece produces a level of brutality of which pretty much all of the previously named acts could be proud. Osiah also unleashes the same sinister atmosphere on “Terror Firma” that made “No Hope, No Morality” stand out so much against its peers. Handpicking the likes of “The Harvesting” and lead single “Humanimals”, we get those traditional down-tuned chugs and heavy bass-lines one expects from deathcore, with a lingering dark, ambient tone that brings the mood down. “Street Justice” takes this to the extreme as a full-on onslaught of brutality.
Of course, the music is met with monstrous growling vocals, but we also get the occasional pig squeal, like in “Plague World”. The second track, “Dethronement of Gods”, featuring Gaz King of Nexilva, is the song that really grabs me by the throat with its level of intensity and the way it breaks free from the dark tones to deliver some great grooves. It’s a song that throws various drum techniques into the mix, from machine gun-like double pedals to in-your-face style blast beats. The guitars shift from outright shredding riffs to ass-kicking breakdowns. Songs like that and “Brokden” show depth in Osiah’s sound; that they can be classed as a deathcore band and a death metal act, and be prolific in both scenes.
It doesn’t happen often, but this is a rare album that makes me want to dive back into deathcore again. I listen to it and I sense full on the darkness that makes me think this is the musical form of demons. It doesn’t feel like it’s all about violence, as most of these tracks are sluggish and evil instead of pure pit-starters. What Osiah does lack is the element of surprise and diversity; once you’ve heard two or three tracks, you get the idea of what they are about very quickly. Nevertheless, Osiah is a band that I feel should be touring with any of the deathcore elite right now.
Download: Brokden, Humanimals, Dethronement of Gods
For the fans of: Thy Art Is Murder, The Acacia Strain, Martyr Defiled
Release date 24.06.2016