The Black Sheep EP

Written by: MBC on 01/06/2014 21:18:52

Here we go again. “The Black Sheep” EP is yet another one-note beatdown chugfest out on a good label. We Are Triumphant obviously sees something in this band, but what exactly is the appeal of this release? Yes, it is heavy and does have a crisp production, but man this version of the dying deathcore genre is depressing. Extortionist is another new band focusing on slow-paced heaviness over things like melody or technical skill. Obviously, this is the band’s conscious decision and they do exude a certain 'we don’t give a fuck' attitude, which is cool and all, but just a little variety or even energy in the songs would help a lot.

The songs are generally constructed with a never ending series of slow, down-tuned chug-riffs or breakdowns. The drums follow the groove and for the most part are simple and heavy. Vocalist Ben Hoagland has a good, deep growl that fits well with the music. As with other releases in the genre, the vocals are really the only thing the band has got going for them. He has a strong voice, although his delivery is completely muttered and it is very hard to decipher the words. But in this case, it actually adds to the dark atmosphere of the music and complements it well. On the track “Streetwalker” Tyler Shelton, the vocalist from genre related band Traitors, is featured. His vocal approach is similar, but a little higher pitched and the two complement each other well, although it would not have made much difference without his appearance.

When listening through the songs one becomes aggravated by the fact that many parts would actually work really well in contrast with something else, such as blasting or more melodic parts. Anyhow, these songs are mediocre at best and are just not memorable or even very interesting. In a few momentary deviations from the formula, the band introduces other elements to the mix such as mid-tempo hardcore grooves or a short dissonant guitar solo such as on album closer “Rejection”. These are much welcomed breaks from the constant barrage of breakdowns, but sadly are few and far between. Extortionist does show potential on “The Black Sheep” and probably could be really good if they would just move away a little more from the ‘slow and heavy does it’ routine, because it gets really old, really fast.

Download: Dead Ends, Streetwalker, Rejection
For the fans of: Immoralist, Navigator, Black Tongue, Emmure
Listen: Facebook

Release date 25.03.2014
We Are Triumphant

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