Videoclip of the Month!!!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Despite Exile - Re-Evolve (Review)

"I thought there would never be progressive deathcore which was ground breaking... I was wrong!"

Ever since Italian progressive deathcore band Despite Exile released their debut EP Scarlet Reverie, people have been keeping a close eye on them (including me). It was evident in Scarlet Reverie that Despite Exile had potential, and it was only a case of sharpening their music just that little bit to make it seemingly perfect. Well, it’s barely a year later and since their debut EP and yet they have brought before us Re-Evolve. If anything, Re-Evolve will continue the evolution of the progressive deathcore genre because Despite Exile is the superior. When I first heard Scarlet Reverie, I knew that this band was going to be good. However, I was not prepared for the sheer awesomeness, or magnitude of Re-Evolve. This, small, miniscule, three track EP has the potential to change everything progressive deathcore has to offer.

To be quite honest, when I first went to check out this EP I was sceptical about how Despite Exile would capitalize on the already-awesome Scarlet Reverie EP because from experience, bands that usually pull of excellent fluke debuts tend to slacken off in future releases. But, holy shit, this assumption that I made for Re-Evolve was completely wrong and it’s now clear that Scarlet Reverie was not a fluke. As soon as I got past the opening of the first track “Oscillate”, I knew then, that Despite Exile are back better than ever before. I don’t recall hearing any progressive deathcore ever, with as much power and potency as the deathcore on Re-Evolve. Re-Evolve is much more powerful and higher quality than anything else I’ve heard, which includes Scarlet Reverie. It’s almost as if Despite Exile have created a new breed or super progressive deathcore, the breed which will hopefully extinguish all inferior breeds and species.

The first thing that hit on Re-Evolve was the style of progressive deathcore, it’s unlike anything I’ve ever heard. When I think of progressive deathcore I think of bands such as The Contortionist and The Yellow Sign, bands which don’t have much potency or power to their music. Also, the music doesn’t hold itself together well, probably because they’re going for a pure atmospheric or emotional feel to their music. This is where Despite Exile comes in because Despite Exile have the best of both worlds, which is the main reason why I think Re-Evolve and the Despite Exile themselves are so great. They have heavy as fuck breakdowns and brutal as fuck pig squeals (obviously influenced from deathcore and death metal) along with beautiful progressive and melodic hardcore guitar work. I’d like to make an emphasis on the deathcore influence here because it does take priority on Re-Evolve. Many bands seem to put an emphasis on the fact that they’re combining deathcore with progressive  or melodic influences and as a result, it becomes dull and boring. However, Despite Exile have put their emphasis on the deathcore element in their music.

Sure, there are only three tracks, and sure this is only an EP, but this packs more punch than some full length progressive deathcore albums. Now that’s definitely saying something. Well, if I were to make a list of all of the different elements in Re-Evolve, I would have an extremely large list. The really magical part however (or the part which I think is magical) is how they’ve put all of these components together.

Usually when I listen to progressive deathcore I find that it sounds rather plain and abstract. Abstract, in the sense that the musical structure itself doesn’t follow any kind of path or direction towards a climax, which is little bit confusing sometimes. But when you listen to Re-Evolve, you’ll probably think “you’re a liar miniradman, this is really confusing to follow”. Yeah, sure, it’s confusing at the beginning, but as you start to settle into the music, you can easily see that it leads up to a climax which is either a heavy ass fucking breakdown or a beautiful atmospheric passage. That being said, there are parts where the musical structure is as confusing as hell. This probably stems from the heavy technical deathcore, or math metal influences in their music. It’s a little hard to describe with words what it sounds exactly like, but I guess you could say it’s just regular mathcore/metalcore with a really, really heavy progressive deathcore aesthetic. The best thing is that even if you don’t like mathcore or metalcore, Despite Exile shouldn’t turn you off.

When it comes to musical talent and production of Re-Evolve, it is far more superior than Scarlet Reverie. At least in Scarlet Reverie you could tell that Despite Exile was a relatively young band, now, they’re all grown up and ready to fulfil. They no longer have that childish nature to their music, but sound more mature and serious this time round. I guess the seriousness also stems from the increased production quality of the music. The recording, the mixing and overall production of Re-Evolve is far better than the production of Scarlet Reverie. The guitars have more ‘crunch’, the drumming has more ‘snap’ and “oomph” to them and the vocals are raspier and ‘rawer’, Re-Evolve is the better release and considering that Scarlet Reverie is still one of my favourite debut EPs of all time, that’s big.

There really isn’t much to say about Re-Evolve, other than it really pushes the boundaries of the progressive deathcore genre and it’s almost perfection. I think Re-Evolve would appeal to pretty much every single -core fan out there.  Like I’ve mentioned before, there are three tracks and all of them are worth playing. “Oscillate” is the technical and deathcorish opening to the EP, “Perfection Neutralized” has an atmospheric (yet powerful), progressive and mathcorish style sound to it and “Mechanical” is the heavy as fuck track on the EP. So for first time listeners, take your pick. I think that all bands, if they are around enough, all have their time for greatness but I have a feeling the Despite Exile’s time is very, very soon. Re-Evolve is defiantly the perfect stepping stone towards an epic full length. I can’t wait to hear what they have in the future for us!


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