As You Drown
Reflection

One could easily look at the moniker, cookie cutter logo, generic computerized cover art, and Metal Blade’s recent release history, and make the assumption that As You Drown is merely another drop in the generic deathcore bucket.

Wrong.

As You Drown (previously named Ethereal) hail from Sweden and play death metal. Really good fucking death metal. The same kind of death metal that balance brutality, savagery and complexity and heft as country mates Insision delivered on 2002s Beneath the Folds of Flesh, but with a thicker, modern gloss and sheen.

From start (“Ruins and Dead Ends”) to finish (“Needles”) simply rips and rumbles with a confidence and tenacity I have not heard on a debut in a while. The effort was mixed/ mastered at Studio Mega by Christian Silver (The Crown, Sonic Syndicate, Impious), but is so damn chunky and hefty it sounds like it was mastered by Tue Madsen on steroids and those familiar with Belgian/Danish death metal will appreciate the huge chunky tones, (again, on steroids).

While admittedly, there isn’t anything too awfully original going on here, there’s not a breakdown in sight and its performed with such self assurance and balls it commands your attention as tracks like “Horns”, “What is Worst”, “Open Wound Salvation” and more restrained ” Ashes” deliver rumbling tumbling riffs, ferocious blast beats and time changes abound. However, the standout has to be “Swallow”, with its runaway train pace. Vocalist Henrik Blomquist has a deep, if processed bellow and the whole affair comes across as the huge sounding bridge between Whitechapel, Behemoth and older Aborted.

I’m surprised Metal Blade released this a week before to the utterly forgetful sophomore Job For a Cowboy album, as Reflection blows that away and along with Moker’s Total Domination and The Cleansing’s Poisoned Legacy offer up one three similarly styled, superb but unheralded death metal releases of 2009 .

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
July 8th, 2009

Comments

  1. Commented by: Staylow

    I like this album quite a bit – good stuff here. I also had them pegged for a deathcore act, but once I hit play I was immediately proven wrong. Good write up Erik.


  2. Commented by: krustster

    Same here. I like the new JFAC but this ons is going to be getting a lot more plays. On the actual deathcore front, Metal Blade has a really awesome album that just came out from the band The Crimson Armada, really awesome stuff. I assume you have the “metal blade records ipool” thing, and it’s on there now, so make sure you blast that one right away.


  3. Commented by: krustster

    also lolol at my saying “really awesome” twice in the same sentence.


  4. Commented by: Erik Thomas

    Krustster- check out an insigned deathcore band called Ever Forthright. I thought the Crimson Armada was pretty average


  5. Commented by: Mark

    Hey Erik, I know this isn’t the place to say this, but I read Despised Icon, said they aren’t apart of the deathcore genre anymore, and were leaving that shit behind them. Could be a good thing and a bad thing


  6. Commented by: BreedingtheSpawn

    Metalcore and deathcore basically two genres I despise with a passion and also that gay whining emocore garbage. People swear that Job For A Cowboy is death metal yeah right this band has nothing to do with death metal and plus they suck.


  7. Commented by: Reviews › Those Who Lie Beneath – An Awakening › Teeth of the Divine

    […] modern, slightly youth driven American death metal. The next nearest comparison I though of was the debut from Sweden’s As You Drown; a huge, super burly production, raging blast beats, slightly tech […]


  8. Commented by: Teufel

    What you described sounds pretty good, but it’s not what the band sounds like at all. As You Drown are a metalcore band, who play in a death metal style with Nasum tuning and production.

    Normally I agree with your reviews, or can at least understand where you’re coming from even if I disagree, but you were way off on this one.


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