Every single morning, as the bright light pierces through my dangling blinds and kidnaps me from the warm embrace of Morpheus, my first waking moment is dedicated to wondering what new deathcore album I could listen today. My second transforms into a daydream: I own a lamp, a magic lamp host to a basketball shirt-wearing bro genie who gladly promises to provide me with great deathcore bands. The landscape darkens. My dreamy blue skies turn to storm and the genie’s hype-ass silhouette dissipates into the air, revealing my desires to be based on a fallacy. There can be no great deathcore, it is but the death of rock music, a simplistic amalgamation of every element of other genres that happened to be popular in and around the early 2000s. Breakdowns, riffs, deathly growls, rinse and repeat ad eternam. I give you Silence The Messenger and their debut album ‘Achilles’.
The band do redeem themselves somewhat by admitting that their band is essentially just a creatively unambitious vehicle for them to have fun: ‘We’re not here to reinvent the wheel, we’re here to play pissed off, heavy music that we love for as many people as we can, and have a great fucking time doing it’. There’s some refreshing honesty. Unfortunately, delivering some #realtalk doesn’t make your album any more refreshing itself. There is no such thing as ‘refreshing uninventiveness’.
If you’re a fan, as they are, of the cold corpse that is deathcore then, by all means, dig into the cheesy grim-synths-and-tribal-percussion intro that warns that what will come next is the most epic thing you’re ever likely to hear, but in reality it’s just the unspectacular repetition of a decade’s worth of unevolving genre work. I am, you can imagine, generalizing somewhat and they’re are a handful of moments that stand out as the evidence of a band not entirely brainwashed into passive aping. ‘Sirens’ relentlessly guttural attack delivers a surprising moment of melody that isn’t unwelcome and ‘Harrow’s techy intro riffing does showcase the genuinely talent of these musicians, the one that is so peculiarly absent on much of the album. Oh, and also, if there is a god, he might want to accelerate the retirement of this brand of drumming.
‘Achilles’ by Silence The Messenger is available now on Standby Records.
Words by James Berclaz-Lewis (@swissbearclaw)