Videoclip of the Month!!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Bound By Exile - Oppression

Bound By Exile - Oppression

Oppression is Bound By Exile’s debut EP, these guys are a deathcore band based in Exeter, United Kingdom. This EP was released in the November of 2010 and these guys were unsigned when this was released. Deathcore is a relatively new genre that has only been around since the dawn of the 21st century and already, we have seen many permutations of the genre ranging from progressive to symphonic deathcore. The thing that I like about these guys is that this EP is just deathcore at its purest form. No electronic/dance music and certainly no orchestral instruments, this is just straight up deathcore they way it was meant to be.

Like I have mentioned before, these guys are a pure deathcore band and anyone with a remote liking of deathcore music will know that the genre has a particular sound to it. Well… it’s not just a sound, it can be described better as an atmosphere. Now, one of the perks that this band, is that they do in fact have this very distinctive deathcore atmosphere, there is definitely the trademarked darkness associated with deathcore it’s evident in Bound By Exile’s sound. It’s very similar to the style of atmosphere that bands such as Whitechapel and Chelsea Grin use. This is mainly because of the distortions of the instruments, mainly the guitar. It’s a little hard to describe, but it almost sounds scary or even sinister. Just what a deathcore band is supposed to be!

Ok, so the atmosphere is one thing, but that doesn’t make this pure deathcore… so what does? Obviously, apart from typical deathcore riffs and song writing, the answer has to be the breakdowns. The breakdowns, just like the atmosphere, have a watermarked style that basically says that these guys are a legitimate deathcore band. For those who aren’t familiar with what a pure deathcore breakdown sounds like, they are; low pitch, medium pace and usually have more than 3 chords that are strum consecutively. This just adds to the sense of darkness in this EP. But this isn’t the only style of breakdown utilized. You have your fast paced declining breakdowns where many low key palm muted notes are played in short intervals, and finally, you have your dead slow breakdowns where the only target is to be as heavy as possible. The breakdowns sort of remind me of the breakdowns that are used in Disfiguring The Goddess and Whitechapel’s music. And for those who have aren’t aware, Whitechapel are well known for their breakdowns.

There is one last aspect of this EP’s sound to mention and that is the song writing. These guys do indeed have your typical deathcore song structure. They have all the indigents necessary and deathcore know how to create some creditable song writing.  Their song structure comprises of both organised and disorganised pieces which are well placed so they don’t clutter, their breakdowns are thrown in there at almost the right places and they don’t overuse them. Also, the style of breakdowns used are perfect for the intended mood and atmosphere, also the tempo and energy seems to be fairly well balanced. So basically they have shown their song writing talents with the release of this EP. Not only this, but It is also very clear on where all the inspiration for this has come from.

Now one of the best things that I love about any band is that they know where their limits are and a big mistake that many younger bands seem to do is try and play things that are beyond their skill level which is massive mistake, especially when trying to make a first impression. What I love about this band is that they don’t seem to overcomplicate their music and attempt to play at outrageous speeds or brutality. These guys seem to know where their limits are and have stuck to it.

The vocals I must say are fairly decent, they are your average joe vocals in terms of pitch, tone and distortion but they are used in the correct way for what they are trying to achieve. Now there is nothing better than a deathcore vocalist that doesn’t try to be Oli Sykes or Mitch Lurker all the time because sure those two vocalists sound awesome but I don’t think that everyone is capable of getting up to the same standard. Now there is a saying I have and it might be a little harsh at times but it’s the truth, you cannot buy what you cannot afford. Luckily, the guys vocalist is aware of what good deathcore vocals should sound like. He doesn’t try to go all out with his screams and he doesn’t try to be the deepest most br00tal growler ever either. But there is one thing I absolutely hate about some deathcore vocalists and that is they try and sing their words way too fast. It’s almost like they are rapping, I am so glad the vocalist hasn’t tried to do this because it could have ruined the whole vibe and atmosphere of the EP.  

The guitar work in this EP is also fairly decent, the guitarists use a wide range of deathcore chords so it doesn’t sound boring. And even if they did use the same style for every song I couldn’t really tell because this is only a short five track EP. They also play at different speeds to match the intended mood or energy level. Another thing that I liked about the guitar playing is that they could have been tempted to play high pitch chords like in many new deathcore and technical death metal bands, I have heard this from almost every new deathcore band out there and it’s always nice to see a change for the better. So I am almost 100% sure that the aim for this band isn’t to be as technical as they can. The distortions of the guitars are also suitable for the style they are trying to play, I honestly think that this style of distortion is the main culprit in creating that trademark deathcore atmosphere that everyone loves so much. They have a really doney sound to them so they don’t palm mute their riffs often which is another contributor to this atmosphere.

Out of all the bands instruments, I think that the drummer easily has the most impact on the band. The drummer guides the pace and energy of the music but ultimately controls the band it’s self. The drumming is key to having a tight band and the drummer in Bound By Exile has it! He does an astonishing job at keeping the music flowing and tight. Not only this, but he playes at certain speeds at certain times to coincide with the intended mood or energy. Also, he is responsible for controlling breakdowns and how they sound, he does an impressive job at this as well. He makes sure they aren’t too fast or too slow and I believe the drumming is also responsible for how heavy a breakdown sounds. How many times have you heard a breakdown and it sounds poor due to out of time drumming?  Out of everything I have mentioned about the drummer, nothing compares to his super speedy double kicks. I there aren’t many drummers out there that can play double bass so quickly that it sounds like a humming. I think that the double bass in the track Misogynist would give My Fears Have Become My Phobias (As Blood Runs Black) a run for their money because it’s bloody fast.

This is a five track EP and I must say that there are five tracks that are worth listening to in this EP. The opening track is a crappy musical but the first real song Oppression and it basically sets the stage for the whole EP and introduces the band it’s self. It opens up with your typical deathcore breakdown and death growl, after that it goes into some medium paced music. This might sound generic but I believe that tracks like this are the very definition of deathcore as they have everything a pure deathcore band should have; the atmosphere, energy, chuggy breakdowns and song structure are all perfect. Fast forward two tracks and you hit Betrayal Of Human Kind, this is probably the most energetic track out of the whole EP. The vocals are a little quicker and more abrasive than the rest and the blast beats stand out a lot more than in other tracks. Not to mention the speed of the track as a whole as well. The final track is Misogynist and it is probably the most outstanding track on the whole EP as it combines everything loveable about Bound By Exiles sound into one track. The guitars and vocals are both awesome in this track because they don’t sound repetitive at all. Also I think that right from the start the music sounds like it’s progressing, and not for not reason, the music keeps on progressing until it hits one of the best moments in deathcore, the super speedy extremely mega awesome double bass, I just cannot stress how awesome the doubles are in this one track.

Overall, this is one hell of a way to go about releasing a debut EP, I honestly thought there were no bands left out there that could play deathcore like it was back in the day but obviously I was wrong. These guys have brought back the genre that all deathcore fans fell in love with, so us fans should be grateful. These guys have a seemingly perfect song structure and the breakdowns are just awesome. Also, I don’t think that any of the band members were slacking off during the course of this EP, and they don’t try and push things that they can’t move. These sure know their limits. I highly recommend this band to any deathcore fan out there, for all those who enjoy this likes of Whitechapel and Disfiguring The Goddess this one is definitely for you! Furthermore I recommend that you check out the tracks Misogynist, Betrayal Of Human Kind and Oppression but since this is more than half, get the whole thing! Bound By Exile have shown all the newbies out there how to do pure deathcore the right way so I give their debut EP Oppression a 17/20, nice work.


  1. Deathcore, deathcore, deathcore, deathcore, deathcore, deathcore, deathcore, deathcore, deathcore, deathcore, deathcore, deathcore, deathcore, deathcore, deathcore, deathcore, deathcore, deathcore, deathcore, deathcore, deathcore, deathcore, deathcore. Reading this was a fucking deathchore.