|Review: Despise & Conquer - Promo 2009|
Year released: 2009
Genre: Death Metal
Review online: September 20, 2009
Reviewed by: Brett Buckle
Rated 3/5 (60%) (5 Votes)
Despise & Conquer have risen from the demise of the excellent and exotic Ninnghizida and Paranoiz (whom I have never heard of I must confess), and are flying the flag of what I guess you might call melodic Gothic Death Metal. Doesn't sound that flash on paper, but these guys have gotten the ball rolling with a pretty fucking sweet little three track promo that is going to appeal to fans of the aforementioned bands, and others like Hollenthon and latter day Septic Flesh.
"Die For Something" kicks this off in fine style with some brief introductory rumbling and spoken word before it rolls into some mid-paced Death/Thrash riffing that immediately gets the head nodding. This has a really familiar metal feel to it without being generic, with Udo Erwig's gruff yet easily understandable vocals complementing the music superbly, settling you into a comfortable late 90's metal vibe with enough of the 80's Thrash to keep the old geezers smiling happily. The whole thing has been given the Swanö treatment with crunchy guitars and fat drums, everything audible and in its place, so you should know what to expect from the excellent production. "Resistance is Futile" continues the mid-paced Death riffing with some catchy grooves and vocals that you will happily be singing along to after only a couple of listens. There are some pretty sweet solos spread liberally around the tracks as well and they are melodic without being needlessly flashy, and do not outstay their welcome either. The aforementioned Gothic elements are brought to us via the keyboards, and they are a bit of a mixed bag to my ears. Their brief intro to "Casting Skin" is quite ominous with an atmosphere that carries into the catchy riffing, but for the most part I could do without them as they pump along in the background doing little more than taking the edge off the guitars and softening the music without really adding anything of note.
With this all too brief promo Despise & Conquer will be whetting the appetite of plenty of metal fans I'd reckon. Their mid-paced take on Death Metal incorporates some great Thrash and Trad metal stylings, and the keyboards (even thought not my cup o' tea) will no doubt endear them to a wider audience, setting them up very nicely for a big full-length. All three tracks are available for download from their Myspace page, so, if you are a fan of this kind of Gothic Death you should do yourself a big favour and go check this out.
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