Whxrecrusher is a brand new and brutal project founded by Niko Apostolakis himself. Niko A. also happens to be a Vienna, Austria-based deathcore musician who is the sole consistent member and maker of a few different extreme metal projects you may have heard of such as Left To Drown & Until We Die. He mostly focuses on the darker, sludgier and more downtempo or brutal death-oriented elements of the subgenre...and his latest release via Whxrecrusher has just been made available late in March of 2019. So let's check it.
This album's got a ton of breakdowns indeed, but first and foremost, what you need to know is that it's been released through the musician himself on Bandcamp in addition to being pressed to CD format via Chugcore Records. Aside from that, it's worth noting that Niko wrote pretty much all the material on here, and the nearly 30 minute release consists of ten tracks that are chock full of riffs and chugging in varying paces and tempo, over-the-top screeching and gutturals, eerie themes and more.
On the surface, this record is not too terribly distinct from the other downtempo offerings you may find on the Internet. However, there are unique little trendy factors here and there that listeners should look out for that could very well amp up the experience for them. With a meaty guitar tone and relentlessly deep brutal death vocals, this Signs of the Swarm/xKINGx-esque release delivers on several fronts. The drumming is there, but it's adequate and the main focus really is on all the slow, brooding breakdowns, dark atmosphere and gutturals as well as riffs in between. The intro really drags you in strong and, following a rather cliche first song, Antipathy really picks up with songs like 'Hate', which has undoubtedly my fave breakdown in the outro; and 'Done With It All', one song that has a distinctively strong sound and dark atmosphere to boot. The lyricism is cool, too.
'Payback is more of an interlude/filler-type track but the rest of this album really ties everything together, even with one sing having not one, not two, but three guest vocalists that all get their lines in and mix it up. 'Doomed' is a really good song to wrap everything up and finishes boldy with some hardcore guitarring and the likes, but I personally thought 'Stay' (the album's final track) could've been used elsewhere on this record instead of at the very end. This album mixes in a lot, but a lot of the stuff really sticks. And it's not too long of a listen, either.
All in all, I've got some enjoyment out of this one, even if it's not really my cup of tea. The shifting, if a bit repetitive, breakdowns, stellar vocal variety towards the middle, and all the atmospheric/instrumental breaks in between have me sold on this new project. And, given a slight room for improvement, I feel as though Whxrecrusher could really find a fitting sound that will no doubt lead it to the top of the downtempo/Chugcore chain.
Fave Tracks: 'Hate', 'Done With It All', 'Antipathy'
For Fans Of: Beyond Deviation, Traitors, Chugcore Records
**This release is available now here!**
Support your fave artists and musicians!
-Review by: Dave Raffy
Musician, reviewer, fan & promoter
If you enjoyed this article, be sure to share it with others to help us grow. You can also like and follow us on the social media of your choice with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and support us on Patreon.