Despised Icon
Purgatory

As one of the godfathers, if not THE godfather, of the deathcore genre, Despised Icon have enjoyed a special place at the top for fans of the style.  Though the band themselves have rejected the label, they have no doubt played a huge part in spearheading a genre that is oft-hated, but no doubt has had quite an impact on the metal world.  Bands such as Carnifex, Job for a Cowboy, and Whitechapel, owe a good bit of gratitude to Despised Icon for blazing the genre trail.

Having churned out four full length albums from 2002-09, the band broke up but then reformed and came back better than ever with 2016’s Beast.  Now here they are three years later with the follow up, Purgatory, and while this one might not have quite the impact of the last one, it’s still another very solid entry into their lineup.

With the same members back for LP number six, this one jumps out of the gate after a short instrumental with the second track, “Purgatory”, which starts out with some wicked fast double bass before launching into the dual vocal attack of Alex Erian and Steve Marois, which has become a critical trademark of their sound (since emulated by bands such as Emmure to very good effect).  That cornerstone of their music does sometimes bleed into the “bro-core” realm as the hardcore vocals can get a bit cheesy and overly-macho, but it’s definitely not a deal break by any means.

Things roll right along with the almost death-grindish track “Light Speed”, before dialing the tempo back a bit for the aptly titled “Slow Burning”.  My favorite track was probably track 7, “Moving On”, that will likely be a favorite of their live shows with another nice double bass backed opening and even a tasty little guitar solo at the 3:15 mark to mix things up a bit.

Things end on a high note with “Dead Weight”, and it’s clear that time and a short parting of ways haven’t slowed this sextet down at all.  The songs are varied enough to not all blend together, and if there’s still any of you out there that, like myself, are still huge deathcore fans, then this will no doubt keep you going with a solid production and enough killer breakdowns to make you smile like the Grinch.  Happy holidays indeed.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kevin E
December 16th, 2019

Comments

  1. Commented by: Chris

    Great review. I have similar reservations about the inevitability of a Despised Icon release bleeding into the bro-core realm, but I can’t help but love this band–still technical, still catchy at times, a lot of killer breakdowns and riffs, and all uniquely Despised Icon. Not sure I like it as much as Beast but time will tell.


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