Despised Icon
The Healing Process

I can’t pretend to have heard this bands prior apparently grindcore based offerings, so I cant tell you how The Healing Process compares, but what I can you that this is the best album Dying Fetus never did.

With members of two of my favorite Canadian bands, the mighty Neuraxis and In Dying Days, Despised Icon deliver a bludgeoning, nerve severing slab of hardcore laced grindcore/death metal, yes the hated term ‘death core’ fits. With an all star cast of knob twiddlers (J.F Degenais, Alan Douches, Yannick St-Ammand) the punishingly pristine sound may make grindcore elitist cringe, but it captures Despised Icon’ s East Coast death metal grooves and scattershot blast beats perfectly. Other than the huge breakdowns, the dual vocals of Alex Merian and Steve Marois will draw some of the hardcore comparisons as they split between a tough guy hardcore shouts (even some gang vocals)and an ultra low John Gallagher-ish growl (further cementing the Dying Fetus comparison). Musically, Despised Icon have an obvious Neuraxis lean with sudden time changes and staggeringly complex but brutal musicianship, but they throw in some massive NY-ish grooves that are more than similar to Dying Fetus’ Destroy the Opposition or even Suffocation.

From the immediate assault of “Bulletproof Scales” to closer “End This Day”, Despised Icon shatter musical pigeonholing with sheer girth; grindcore core fans will cringe at the shouted vocals and emphasis on huge grooves, while hardcore fans may find the blistering grindcore elements and cookie monster with a tracheotomy growls too intense. But those willing to just accept Despised Icon’s extreme crossover sound will be beaten to a pulp. Songs are hard to highlight as every breakdown hits the neck snapping sweet spot and every blast beat is a voracious display of technical savagery; the entire album is one long highlight. That being said “The Sunset Will Never Charm Us” deserves a mention as complex bruiser and “Harvesting the Deceased” is a swirling, grooving vortex of intricate brutality. If like me, you were slightly disappointed at with Stop at Nothing and Souls to Deny, this album is your skull imploding redemption and early contender for album of the year providing you can remove your musical blinkers and accept its tangible hardcore elements.

You know what? Screw this review, just go fucking buy this and annoy old people with it. Thomas out.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
April 8th, 2005

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