Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I Declare War - Self Titled

I Declare War's Malevolence was one of the first deathcore albums I listened to. I enjoyed it a lot at first, but then bands like Whitechapel and All Shall Perish stole my attention. Since Malevolence I've listened to quite a few deathcore bands and would like to believe I have a pretty good idea of what makes a good/great deathcore album. I Declare War isn't the front of the pack in theis genre, but they aren't falling behind either. For me, they are somewhere between Whitechapel and Oceano, both in sound and quality. Malevolence was a good album as a whole, but for me personally it lacked standout tracks. (Although, totally unrelated to their music, I really liked the cover for Malevolence over the new album cover.)

Their new self titled album is a step above Malevolence. It's got more atmosphere and more memorable moments. It doesn't re-invent the wheel for deathcore but it's by no means a lackluster album. If you are a deathcore fan you will like or love this album. It's got all the qualities of a good deathcore album. A good mix of brutality and technicality.

Unlike Malevolence though, I Declare War has a few standout songs. Human Waste would be one, mainly because of the hook "Iced Fucking Earth", which is both catchy and heavy. Misery Cloud also starts out pretty epic "They came. They Fucking Conquered." Final Hour is also a pretty standout track that shows the great atmosphere this album retains throughout. (They have a great atmosphere without adding a string section or anything like that.) Same goes for Pale Skin. The slow breakdown in the beginning and the overlaying of a creepy lead guitar section add's a lot to the overall sound of the album.

Another thing that stood out more to me on this album was the drums. It's pretty spot on throughout the whole album. Great stuff. The drums have great sound, but at the same time they don't drown out the other instruments and vocals. They also don't really throw breakdowns in for breakdowns sake. They seem pretty well timed and add pretty heavy bit to the album.

The Vocal's are also a bit better than the last album. They are between Oceano's heavy yet muddy growls and Whitechapel's deeper, more clear vocals. No real high screams are present on this album either.

It's not album of the year, but it's also not something a deathcore fan should pass up. It's worth a number of spins, and it progresses their sound a bit further. They continue to make pretty solid deathcore. This album is definitely worth your $10 or $12 dollars. (Maybe $8 if best buy does it's first week deal for it.)

If you like Whitechapel, Oceano, or The Acacia Strain, check these guys out. You'll enjoy this album alot.

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