Signs Of The Swarm
Absolvere

Like it or not, deathcore is having a pretty solid comeback over the last couple or years, and it appears to be peaking in 2021 with Unique Leader Records leading the charge with releases from the likes of Distant, Osiah, To The Grave, Humanity’s Last Breath, Mental Cruelty, Worm Shepard, Bound In Fear, (a few of which are certain to appear on my year end list)  and this the fourth effort from Pittsburgh’s Signs Of The Swarm.

Now these guys never really appeared on my radar for the last three efforts, being simply another by the numbers deathcore band that CJ McGreery was somehow  in, but like the jump label mates Osiah made from Kingdom of Lies to Loss, Signs Of The Swarm have elevated their game exponentially, and put their name in the upper echelon of the genre along with the above-mentioned labelmates as well as Crown Magnetar and Lorna Shore as 2021s top deathcore releases.

Even with a slightly more progressive development, that’s a smaller version of the evolution that Whitechapel made on The Valley, Absolvere still hits hard, at times as hard or harder than Osiah’s Loss, and delivers more than enough stupidly heavy breakdowns and super deep inhaled vocals from David Simonich, now on his second album for these guys (is it me or are deathcore vocalists getting just ridiculously deep and monstrous here of late??) .

Starting with opener “Hymn ov Invocation”, you get 10 songs of no nonsense modern deathcore (the presence of the ‘ov’ here and in “Revelations ov a Silent King”, teases Lorna Shore, Worm Shepard-like blackened symphonics, but these guys use keyboards super sparingly). Every song has something to break stuff to, notably “Totem”, “Nameless” and utterly stupidly heavy  “Revelations ov a Nameless King” ( also, it seems like breakdowns are getting heavier and heavier as well) and ample blast beats and a few moments of progressive interplay with both, such as the whispered closing bridge in “Boundless Manifestations”,  the well done clean vocals in “Dreaming Desecration” and “Death Whistle”, and the shorter instrumental title track.

The album’s latter songs feature some guest performances from Alex Erian of Despised Icon in “Hollow Prison” , another ridiculously heavy number, and Ben Duerr of Shadow of Intent on “Blood Seal”, an almost 6 minute number with a a more progressive last half, including a nice lead solo. “Death Whistle” ends the album with another longer, more varied, moodier number, showing guys can mix it up and deserve to be in the conversation with some of the genre’s top acts with Absolvere.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
October 1st, 2021

Comments

  1. Commented by: J. Mays

    This is their best work, no doubt. I never thought I’d have multiple deathcore albums on my list this year, but this one, Worm Shepherd, Mental Cruelty, and maybe Whitechapel will likely be on it. Spot on review.


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