Angelmaker
Sanctum

Around the esteemed Teeth of the Divine halls, unlike a lot of metal websites full of elitists, we like deathcore. The proof of this would be the reviews from Aethereus, Devils of Loudon, Shadow of Intent, Mines of Moria, Signs Of The Swarm, Worm Shepherd, Fit For an Autopsy,  and The Last Ten Seconds of Life. Only two of those are mine… So, what I’m saying is that someone hoards it. I’m not going to say who, but… Wait, yes, I am. It’s our fearless leader. He walks around like he owns the place and has first dibs or something. The fucking GALL! My most notable foray into deathcore reviews this year has been the latter of the albums. While I gave it good marks, I made like the band recently to the guitarist and left it all alone since then…

This brings us to Angelmaker somehow and their new album Sanctum. Really, it’s a collection of singles, which are the first 7 tracks, and the final 7 are the “new” material. I am rarely into these types of releases simply because they usually drag on and there’s a clear separation between the previous and new material. Will that be the case here?

The intro wouldn’t be worth mentioning if not for the fact that it shares a characteristic with Bury Your Dead and Katie Holmes in that Tom Cruise was in it. HEY-O!

“Creators Conscience” follows and it’s a beatdown. The dual vocalists take center stage, as does the breakdown, but what shines even more is the production, allowing that guitar solo near the end to really rise above the chug.

I hate to admit that the first half is essentially predictable deathcore. Great, but predictable. “What I Would Give” kicks off the second half and while it begins with a beatdown, the persistent melodic guitar, as well as the chorus separate it. This track, while it contains the best chorus, also contains the keys/symphonics prevalent in the deathcore revival. The guitar solo at the end is well done, too. This is the best song on the album and it’s clear why it was released as a single.

I enjoy what they do with the subtle key placements in the previous track, but they don’t explore it much. They opt more for straight-up deathcore, albeit incredibly melodic. Perhaps most of the bands in the scene, such as with “The Weight.”

“Wither” and “Bloom” next to each other in the tracklist almost stalls momentum since they are both instrumental, the former featuring Misstiq of “Deathcore Pimped Up.” However, the last track “Exit Signs” is heavy, including some prevalent bass, some deep growls, and some almost metalcore styled clean vocals, really showcasing the diversity of which they’re capable in their songwriting.

While there are certainly flaws, I am enjoying this album perhaps more than any deathcore release so far this year. 14 tracks is long, but it’s a passionate 45 minutes. That’s the most important term. Passionate. This band writes stellar deathcore songs. Sometimes straight up, frequently melodic, and sometimes symphonic. In what is becoming a saturated sub-genre, and what some would argue as a sub-sub-genre, great songs separate the great bands. Angelmaker is one of those bands.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J Mays
March 24th, 2022

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