Today's mainline act is one that's gotten some fair bit of attention around the interwebs as of late. One hellish six-piece act that originates from deep within Vancouver, western Canada and utilizes a brutal, yet melodic brand of deathcore: AngelMaker is its name...and heavy, chuggy tunes is its game. Since the band's early 2010s inception, there've been a plethora of live shows in addition to the modest amount of solid dual vocal content that's been released by the British Columbia brutalizers. And, if that's anything to go by, then this new one should be no different.
Lots and lots of breakdowns to be had in this lengthy fourteen track journey. The independently released self-titled latest full-length from AngelMaker honestly carries over a ton of the already existing elements and characteristics of its predecessor, Dissentient, and tackles the formula with even more energy and nuance than before. I'm all for DIY bands that show ambition on their end and whatnot, so I was intrigued once again from first hearing about this one (and the fact that I'm such a huge fanatic of their last album) there's no way I was going to overlook this one.
The album opens up with a 30 second instrumental track consisting of some soothing acoustic guitar riffs and slower chords. There's also a bit of the old folk playing style influence that comes in right before the transition into 'I Long For Rest'; and that is when destruction takes its form. Fast, droning open notes combined with double bass kicking and interchanging core vocals take over for a while and the slam influences make themselves know, with chromatic riffs and gutturals to boot. It's apparent that the band has always had kind of a slam undertone, despite claiming their forefront as being more melodic, but I digress.
The sound on here (at least from what I pieced together in the first few songs) is more akin to a mixture of bands like Oceano, Acrania, and Fit For An Autopsy as far as the melodic aspects go. A couple of the songs are very short fillers, with one track even featuring Japanese noise artist Merzbow briefly as part of an instrumental interlude. Evan Robillard appears as guest vocals on the outro track, as well. Aside from this, the songs that stuck out to me most were 'The Veil' due to its blackened/Gothenburg style riffs and longwinded guitar solos; 'Origin' for its over-the-top and oldschool deathcore style; 'Requiem' because of its change of pace and more melodic/acoustic style; and 'Tempest' as well as 'Hollow Heart' for their unadulterated brutality and breakdowns alone.
There were a few tracks that I didn't care for such as 'Radiance in the Light of a Dying Sun' aside from its insane outro and 'In Death' fell short, ending off prematurely just as I was getting into it. But overall, I'd easily say there's more fun to be had than expected with this album. The production quality and tone is on par with Dissentient overall, but I'm not sure which one had the superior atmosphere to me. Additionally, I kind of wish they did a bit more with the dual vocal aspect/style, though I'm still content with the outcome.
When it comes right down to it, AngelMaker is just another deathcore album in the midst of a metric ton of other releases just like it, no question. But, when you get right to their quality and energy when playing this type of music, it usually feels unmatched. There were also times where I felt some blackened or technical elements were at play, as well. This new album builds on a formula similar to its predecessor (take that for what you will), but it ultimately does so in a slightly more mature and structured manner, especially with songs like 'The Veil', 'Requiem' and 'Hollow Heart', all of which happened to be my faves. In the end, while it's not particularly innovative, it's still as enjoyable and musically brutal as its precursor.
Fave Tracks: 'The Veil', 'Tempest', 'Hollow Heart', 'Requiem'
For Fans Of: A Night In Texas, Carnifex, mid-to-late 2000s deathcore
**This release is available now here!**
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-Review by: Dave Raffy
Musician, reviewer, fan & promoter
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