Distant
Heritage

The Netherlands’ Distant has the unenviable task of now being on the same label as Lorna Shore after a stint on Unique Leader. And then, as one of the first, larger profile deathcore bands to release an album in 2023, after Lorna Shore‘s Pain Remains changed the game for deathcore (labelmates Ov Sulfur look to be next).

I still hold the band’s debut album, Tyrannotophia, in high regard, even if the subsequent 2 EPS Dawn of Corruption and Dusk of Anguish were merely OK.  So I was curious how they would follow up on the debut, considering the huge explosion in the genre over the last couple of years and the almost mainstream hype for the genre that Lorna Shore (and others to some extent) has sparked.

Where many bands like Mental Cruelty and Bonecarver, simply mimicked Lorna Shore and added or increased orchestration, (with great results I might add) to their credit, Distant has not done that. Though they have noticeably added some keyboards and a little symphonics here and there, Distant has decided to lean even harder into the Sci-fi-, industrial elements explored in the running ‘Tyrant’ saga on their releases. What you end up with is a deathcore /downtempo band with almost Fear Factory-styled programming and elements.

At its core (pun fully intended), it’s still pure, beatdown, largely downtempo deathcore that mostly lumbers with a slower more deliberate pace and focuses on huge crumbling breakdowns. And Heritage certainly delivers plenty of that in spades, though to be honest many of the songs run a bit together and deliver almost identical pace and structure.

From the introductory opener “Acid Reign”, the sci-fi/cyber shift is immediate, and its cemented by the time the first track, “Paradigm Shift” lumbers into view, replete with robotic female narration, as it’s easy to visualize a Terminator-styled dystopian world where HK drones and t800 are stalking mankind. “Born of Blood” follows suit with a strong cyber/industrial backdrop to the heaving rumbling riffs,  as does “The Grief Manifest” and one of the album’s nastiest, heaviest tracks, “Exofilth”.

Another standout is “Ardent Justice”, a ‘Live Aid’ imbuing deathcore track that features 16 vocalists ( I’m not naming all of them, but it includes vocalists from Suicide Silence, Emmure, BodysnatcherAngelmaker, Cabal, Crown Magnetar and Paleface to name just some of them), and is the first track that breaks stride by having more of a bombastic symphonic/blackened deathcore vibe, as does the following solid track “The Gnostic Uprising” and later, the title track”Heritage” (which features Lorna Shore‘s Will Ramos) and “Orphan of Blight”

But from there, things start to feel a bit ‘samey’, with “A Sentence to Suffer”, “Human Scum” and “Plagebreeder” as the band settles into more of the same mid-paced, slowed-down downtempo with whirrs and beeps in the background.

My only other minor quibble is the production which is a bit ‘mushy’ for me, sapping some of the monstrous lopes of their power. This really needed that almost over-produced Josh Schroeder (Lorna Shore, Mental Cruelty, King 810 etc)-type production.

So ultimately on Heritage,  there’s nothing that blows my face up like  “Hollow Eyes” or “Heirs of Torment” from Tyrannotophia, but Heritage is still likely to be one of the year’s biggest deathcore releases.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
February 20th, 2023

Comments

  1. Commented by: F.Rini

    I love that Distant went into a different death core direction rather than copy Lorna Shore.
    I can’t get enough of the djent industrial inspired heaviness. This album has a lot of creepy undertones. Love this album.


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