Despised Icon
Day of Mourning

Even after two utterly punishing albums in 2005s The Healing Process and 2007s The Ills of Modern Man, Canada’s Despised Icon have a bull’s eye directly on their back for the deathchore haters and scene haters to take pot shots at. From their cocked hats and Vans to their clinical triggered sound and shift from grindcore to breakdown filled deathcore, the band has been the poster child for what many folks see what is wrong with modern extreme metal.

So now with yet another line up tweak that sees guitarist Ben Landreville and bassist Max Lavelle join the fold, Despised Icon have unleashed their fourth album, with relatively little fanfare and for those that enjoyed the last two efforts, have no fear, Despised Icon are still one of the most savage and tight acts in metal today, despite what the haters think. Even with a very slight sense of restraint littering the songs (though not a full on Ion Dissonance-like shift), Despised Icon is still simply a vortex of precision and feral complexity that the Canadians seem so apt at.

The formula and delivery has changed little from The Ills of Modern Man, though the pig squeals have gone. There’s still the increased sense of lurching staggering Meshuggah-ish heft intertwined with voracious, grindcore blast beats, gang chants, and of course, lurching, utterly devastating grooves and breakdowns. It’s a formula Despised Icon have arguably perfected more than any of their many peers, and a formula that superficially repeats the Ill of Modern Man, as numerous times I found myself comparing tracks from both albums. While the album lacks the immediacy and initial face ripping wow factor of say “In the Arms of Perdition”, ” A Fractured Hand” or “Fainted Blu Ornaments” it’s overall a slightly more in depth and grower of an album.  I found my ears prick up as Despised Icon added a little crease or wrinkle here and there that elevates the album further. Be it the excellent chord progression in the title track’s huge groove, the well done orchestral injection in the otherwise sick assault of “MVP”, surprisingly melodic solo work of “Eulogy” and “Entre Le Bien Et Le Mal”, slick, almost black metal climax of “Diva of Disgust” or even the somber closer “Sleepless”, Despised Icon have just enough subtle elements to make Day of Mourning more than a simple rehash of the last album.

Fear not though as the majority of the album is still utterly punishing, heaving, breakdown filled assaults that Despised Icon are know for: the likes of “Les Temps Changent”, “Black Lungs”, “All for Nothing” and “Made of Glass” simply assail the senses with the fierce, Yannick St Amand produced tightness and blistering heaviness that you’d expect from Despised Icon.

Call me a fanboy and the haters can hate all they want. This band and this album fucking kill.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
September 28th, 2009


  1. Commented by: Vance

    Excellent review as always, I was never a fan of these guess, I mean I have always had respect and never hated on them, I just never got into their music, after reading this I think I might try and give them a shot.

  2. Commented by: Stiffy

    Hate, Hate, Hate!!!

  3. Commented by: fightingmike

    I saw these guys live last year and they were the tightest death metal bands i have ever seen. I do think the pig squeals and dual vocals are a bit unnessessary, but overall i like these guys alot and i think they are in a class way above most of your deathcore bands in their professionalism and technicality.

  4. Commented by: dr_neo_cortex

    good review, one of the only few deathcore bands worth listening to.

  5. Commented by: chris s.

    Kick ass album. Every release they get better. I could be wrong, but if they continue the way they do, they will be among the upper tier of metal bands around today. This album is also great for rush hour traffic as well.

  6. Commented by: Desperado

    I don’t mind these guys,alright album though I prefer their older stuff alittle.I wonder why pig squeels get so much flak,I mean they’ve been around for a good while especially with goregrind/pornogrind.Granted its a love it/hate it affair,but still I enjoy them when they grace my music.

  7. Commented by: Sandwiches

    Definitely a great record. Seriously one of the only deathcore bands worth listening to. And they fucking kill live. Their drummer is a machine!

  8. Commented by: faust666

    Great review.. love the last line.. “This band and this album fucking kill.” SPOT FUCKIN ON.

  9. Commented by: TidyDarts

    One of the best extreme metal albums of the last decade.
    Why do people hate on bands that mix styles, it’s one of ways how music can progress.

Leave a Reply

Privacy notice: When you submit a comment, your creditentials, message and IP address will be logged. A cookie will also be created on your browser with your chosen name and email, so that you do not need to type them again to post a new comment. All post and details will also go through an automatic spam check via Akismet's servers and need to be manually approved (so don't wonder about the delay). We purge our logs from your meta-data at frequent intervals.

  • Ad Patres - Unbreathable
  • WyndRider - Revival
  • Unleashed - Before the Creation of Time
  • Ulcerate - Cutting the Throat of God
  • Assassin - The Upcoming Terror/ Interstellar Experience (Reissues)
  • Nyrak - Devourer of All
  • Summoner’s Circle - Cult
  • Kratti - Matka Kohti Kosmista
  • Suffering Souls - An Iconic Taste of Demise
  • Vale of Pnath - Between the Worlds of Life and Death
  • Pathology - Unholy Descent
  • Ischemic - Condemned to the Breaking Wheel
  • Terminal Nation  - Echoes of the Devil’s Den
  • (Un)Worthy - This Present Darkness
  • Severe Torture - Torn From the Jaws of Death