We've reviewed a wide plethora of hardcore albums from current times on the site from artists both obscure and well-known. However, it's not everyday that we happen to get one based in Russia. That being said, DeathSquad is a relatively new four member band that were most recently signed to Bloody Hands Records (though whether or not they are still affiliated with said label I'm unsure of) and they released a full-length album early in 2018. Let's take a listen and get this show/review on the road.
Stay One is representative of an album that's mostly beatdown/downtempo-deathcore in musical style and instrumentals, yet at the same time a hardcore composition as far as the vocals and lyricism go. The album is around 32 minutes in length, with a nine song compilation of edginess, slam riffs and more. Furthermore, Stay One saw its debut stream and premiere over at Slam Worldwide on YouTube as well as a Bandcamp digital release. It's basically a DIY & independent project more than anything from the looks of it.
The album begins with the typical audio sample and soon enough goes right into the guitar riffs, which are pretty distorted not only in general sound but also in tone, which I thought fit the style on one hand but somewhat was a con in certain parts as well. The vocals are a heavy mixture of all-too familiar hardcore screaming in the vein of like Harm's Way or Hatebreed in addition to other things like deathcore-styled pig squeals and low gutturals. It's a pretty mixed bag that makes for an interesting take. Even if you can't comprehend anything the style of the vocals itself make for an entertaining listening experience.
Sometimes there will be slowdowns and more core breakdown-esque sections, such as in outros, and that is one aspect of the genre that I cannot get enough of...so it's a definitive plus in favour of DeathSquad here. 'Suffering' (the second track) is one of my personal faves for the chromatic rhythm and flow of the beatdown riffs and, when you throw in those vocals and blast beat, double-bass drumming, it becomes sludgy and vile/vulgar as all hell. There are some Slaughter To Prevail vibes as well in some parts and I really appreciate the audible tone of the bass, too.
As far as the other songs go, 'Kill Love' has a rather interesting middle breakdown that is followed by an unexpected "rapping" type of section in between that I also enjoyed; and 'STFU' has my favourite slowdowns in the entire album. 'No Respect' makes use of some decent studio effects that, in hindsight, I wish were used more often on this record. 'We Are Here' is pig squeals and deathcore vibes galore and 'Hard Life' feels like a No Zodiac track more than anything. The outro song is alright but I'm not sure if it holds up to the rest.
Aside from the very minor production quality issues I've noticed and the couple of songs I didn't really care for, Stay One is one album that possesses a ton of the same attitude and tasty riffs that many of us may be familiar with and enjoy within the hardcore-beatdown and slamcore genres. It also has some decent and rather interesting style changes and themes throughout that could easily hold the attention of a beatdown fanatic in a heartbeat and for at least about a half an hour or so. In short, there's a lot of stuff that I like on here, as well as some stuff that I wish was done a bit more. However, as far as DeathSquad's full-length goes, it's surely one I'd recommend and vouch for.
Fave Tracks: 'Suffering', 'STFU', 'No Respect'
For Fans Of: Chamber of Malice, No Zodiac, Slaughter To Prevail
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-Review by: Dave Raffy
Musician, reviewer, fan & promoter
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