Videoclip of the Month!!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Battle Within - In the Midst of Perdition (review)

The Battle Within - In the Midst of Perdition

So, it’s been about, I dunno, 10 years since deathcore began to establish itself as a real musical movement or genre (even though its roots came long before then). Since then, we’ve seen (heard) many different permutations of deathcore each of them with their own unique personality to them, everything from progressive to technical to avant-garde and each day that rolls by, more and more people are attempting to write or be the next big thing. As a result of this, ‘real’ deathcore (or original deathcore) has been less and less predominate in comparison to other forms of deathcore. For example, if you asked someone in 2005 what deathcore is, they’d most likely point you in the direction of Despised Icon, or The Red Chord, or even All Shall Perish. Now, if you asked someone what ‘real’ deathcore is you’ll get a variety of answers from a variety of different deathcore subgenres which doesn’t really sit well with me because it renders the term ‘deathcore’ moot. I believe that this should not be such a subjective topic. So what is the answer to this? Well, The Battle Within perhaps?

Ok, I know I may have digressed off topic a little in the introduction but my point stands clear that The Battle Within is deathcore, plain old ordinary run of the mill deathcore. It’s not technical, progressive, brutal or any of that nonsense… it’s just deathcore. Like I’ve mentioned earlier, over the last decade or so, deathcore has branched out into many different styles and each time a branch sprouts out, it leeches off the central trunk. And as time passes, there are more and more branches and the central trunk is drained of more and more of the plants attention and gets thinner and thinner. On the family tree of deathcore, The Battle Within lives on the central trunk (if not, very close to it) and the evidence of this is The Midst Of Perdition. I’m not sure what it is about the aesthetic nature of The Midst of Perdition, but it seems to be an album, that defines the nature of deathcore art. It has breakdowns, it has guttural screams, it has blast beats, it has rapid tempo, it has melody, it has evidence of metalcore and finally evidence of deathcore. Yep, this is deathcore (in case I haven’t made it clear enough already).

Many people concede the notion that deathcore HAS to be disorganised to be even remotely classified as ‘deathcore’. Well, no, deathcore does not have to be disorganised and The Battle Within is a great example of this. In fact, The Midst Of Perdition is probably the most well structured, well planned releases I’ve ever come across. There is no sense of chaotic cluttering or overlapping of sounds within any of the tracks it’s all neat and tidy (just like your bedroom, right?). However, the past suggest that when bands try to become too organised and cautious about ruining their intended sound, become tedious and very tiresome to listen to and their intentions become very indistinct which tends to sometimes loose the audience. Probably because they’re too afraid to come out and really show us their talent, but hiding in their shell however, is doing them no favours. The Battle Within on the other hand has kept their music organised but isn’t afraid to strut their stuff and it’s very easy to tell. It’s almost a shame why we don’t have more bands like The Battle Within because it would make my dream (and others’ dreams) come true.

Blast beats, who doesn’t love them? (and if you don’t, you may require a doctors appointment). There are mighty fine, attractive sounding blast beats going down here In the Midst of Perdition. Sure they might not be the fastest or the most technical, but their structure and execution are almost gold standard (and I believe that matters much more then technicality or speed). Also, I cannot forget to mention the fact that they are one of the very few underground bands today who aren’t afraid to use high quality recording (PRAISE THE LORD!). The production of The Midst Of Perdition is more or less flawless and the blast beats wouldn’t have been half as good if they weren’t in high quality. The drumming has a very potent clicky sound to them with gives the music a bit of depth and character to it, because c’mon let’s face it, who out there takes a band with pillow cases for drums seriously? Listening to The Midst Of Perdition has made me realise how much I hate bland deathcore (or any form of music for that matter). Remember how I said that this IS deathcore, notice that I omitted the word “pure” because if I mentioned that, I’d be lying to you (and I cannot lie to you). There are definitely some strong hints of metalcore and melodic death metal littered throughout some parts of The Midst Of Perdition. Some may hate it, but I think that introducing these foreign ingredients in to this magnificent pot of deathcore is just excellent. It’s the very glue that binds the entire musical framework together so; one, it doesn’t topple over itself and two, it gives the band that ability to build higher, more creatively and more ambitiously. Sure, The Midst Of Perdition might not be ground breaking stuff because we’ve heard all of this before but The Battle Within have shown their ambitions with this release and I’m not afraid to admit that it could be some of the best deathcore I’ve ever heard. The mixture of short and sweet guitar solos and metalcoreish passages just emphasises the sheers awesomeness of The Battle Within.

I don’t like to nitpick the tracks in albums and say anything like “oh, track 2 is better than track 7 because track two has a tempo of 356bpm whilst track 7 has only 354bpm” I like to look at an album/ep/demo as a single unit. But I must say that track 7, “Structures and Body Bags” is a deathcore masterpiece, there are no words which can describe such a track. Everything from the structure to the euphoric feelings felt when listening to this track is completely flawless. As for the rest of the album however, I’m not saying it’s rubbish, but Structures and Body Bags definitely stands head and shoulders above the rest. In fact, re-listening to all the other tracks In the Midst of Perdition after hearing Structures and Body Bags tends to become quite tedious which really lets this EP down unfortunately. Too bad it’s probably a fluke, because I’d make myself go deaf just to hear more stuff like that.

Overall The Battle Within, I believe have already landmarked themselves as one of the bands to keep an ear out for in 2012 because I think they have a tonne of potential. If only they can make more tracks like Structures and Body Bags, then they would be my new favourite deathcore band but until then they’ll most likely go where all the other generic bands go… in the discount bin at the store. That being said, Structures and Body Bags is definitely one of the most memorable tracks In the Midst of Perdition, it has everything a deathcore fan such as myself and many others like me could for in a track so that’s pretty much the only track that I’d bother recommending for first time listeners. Unless you’re a real hardcore deathcore fan, then you’d better go out and buy this EP and some t-shirts because you’ll love The Battle Within. I give The Battle Within’s The Midst Of Perdition a 16/20. This would have slid down to 14 or 15/20 if it wasn’t for Structures and Body Bags. That track is definitely going on my all time favourites list, and you should hear it sometime too!

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