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This is one that I've been dying to talk about for the longest time now. It's regarding a certain release of the death metal/core variety that I really wish got some more exposure from the masses and the community as a whole. It's got its niche and a following, but for now let's just quickly focus on the makers behind it. Sever The King was known as a quartet of metalheads from New Jersey that graced the early-to-mid 2000s with their own brand of eclectic deathcore. The music had punch, attitude and some elements of other subgenres thrown in. Heavily known as a DIY type of band, their most notable release is the topic of today's review...so let's get right into it.
Outbreak stands as a eleven song, lengthy and brutal core composition that sports traits of the melodic and progressive variety (aside from being heavy and chuggy). The album first dropped back in 2014 and was re-released around a year ago in 2018 shortly following the band's splitting up, included with a revised artwork cover courtesy of Sigma Visions as well as the re-release being done by Chugcore Records. There's a lot to say about this one, so buckle up, sit tight and listen closely to why you and others should honour Outbreak with a little bit of your time.
The album first opens up with 'Outbreak', which takes very little time to get right into it. The high lead notes reminiscient of stuff like Boris The Blade come in and the Oceano-esque low growling vocals take form as well. The drums also have a similar finicky sort of sound (especially with the snare) to the works of Boris The Blade, Slaughter To Prevail and such. Now, I know this was a bit before STP but I'm just making comparisons for the sake of helping to relate it to the core heads of today and modern deathcore. The instrumentals, as far as the guitars go, are a mixture of mostly open-note chugging in the shape of different types of breakdowns in addition to tremolos and some other deathcore tropes, including the occasional guitar solo.
The production quality on this remaster as a whole is phenomenal and the band really outdoes itself in terms of the melodic intricacies and little elements thrown in, making either progressive or more technical qualities known from track to track. 'Aeon of Annihilation' continues with the melodic sound for the most part, but it gets into a more chuggy section with some questionable vocals thrown in. Not sure how I feel about this middle section of the song, but I just get way too wrapped up in the melodic aspect to care. 'A Display of Power' is a personal fave of mine, with its heavy and destructive intro and relentless slammy breakdowns that lead into a composition filled with raw energy and deathcore greatness.
One other track I really enjoy is 'The Curse' because of its more technical nature in the forefront of its standard core breakdowns. The song is especially fast paced and has sort of a proggy feel until the end, in which everything culminates into an epic, slowed down breakdown. 'Psychosis' undoubtedly has a very similar energy and structure to 'The Curse'. Also, 'Thanatos' is a bit of a gamechanger as a song that delivers a bit more variety and a slightly different sound as opposed to previous songs. The best way to describe it is as having sort of an "electronicore" foundation to it (you have to listen to it to know what I mean). In all, there were only two songs I didn't care for: 'The Atmos 2' for being way too drawn out and ambitious as opposed to the other more straightforward songs (simplicity isn't always a bad thing); and 'Shattered World' for feeling a bit recycled.
All in all, there are many reasons as to why Outbreak put Sever The King on the map and the reasons why every fan of the deathcore genre should check it out ASAP. I feel as though it never truly got the recoginition it deserves; and it's a crying shame that the band itself split-up so prematurely in their career. Nevertheless, this little gem is still available to this day on Chugcore Records and I encourage you to give it a go!
Fave Tracks: 'A Display of Power', 'The Curse', 'Thanatos'
For Fans Of: Boris The Blade, I Declare War, Slaughter To Prevail
**This release is available now here!**
Support your fave artists and musicians!
-Review by: Dave Raffy
Musician, reviewer, fan & promoter
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