If anyone tries to tell you deathcore is a dying genre, go ahead and ignore them. They’re really just trying to belittle a genre they don’t like for some reason because it’s existence somehow affects the credibility of the genre’s that deathcore is influenced by. It’s a hate I’ve never fully understood, and it’s not something I really plan on getting into right now. Either way it doesn’t matter much, the point is Dweller is here with their debut LP The Reality Vector to show you deathcore is alive and well.
I understand the idea behind the thought that it might be dead, in that many people feel there’s no originality left in the genre, and everyone sounds like a copy of every else. However that argument can be applied to any other genre. The key is to find a sound that works for you and run with it. I’ll admit that Dweller is by no means earth shattering, but the band knows what they are doing and are doing it very well. The Reality Vector isn’t worlds ahead of their EP Cut Off From The Universe, rather it feels like a continuation or perfection of the sound they established, which is entirely what it should be.
It’s not hard to find cues of inspiration from the likes of Whitechapel, Thy Art Is Murder, and The Acacia Strain, but honestly that’s a hell of a line up to take inspiration from and a step towards what I would consider the better side of deathcore, which is that they aren’t a breakdown focused ‘macho man’ slightly-heavier-than-hardcore deathcore band.
The first thing you’ll notice that they have down, and if you’ve read any of my reviews you’ll understand why I love it, is the atmosphere established by the intro track and sustained through and through by dissonant and melodic lead guitar parts. The band sets up a bleak and dissonant atmosphere from the onset and runs with it through the rest of the album. There isn’t a song on this album that really feels boring. The band manages to keeps things heavy as all be all throughout with relying too heavily on bass drops and breakdowns at every turn, and the atmospheric elements really do help keep things interesting. There are bits of technical flair through the album as well, which give me hints of some of The Last Felony’s work.
In terms of production this album is top notch, everything is mixed really well and each instrument gets an equal amount of time in the spotlight, although the vocals definitely seem to be at the forefront of the album. Steve Samonek has killer vocals, on par with Phil Bozeman, Nate Johnson, and Vincent Bennett. The drums also do a fantastic job creating a solid pillar for the album to stand on while having its own technical moments here and there to keep things more than interesting.
Overall The Reality Vector is one of the best Deathcore releases this year. These guys show that the genre is not dying or reserved solely for the mainstays. They keep the hate machine rolling and I hope they plan on doing so for a while yet.