Despised Icon are no doubt in my estimation, one of the most interesting, diverse, and best bands to come out of the current "deathcore" resurgence we have today in our extreme music scene, and they have definately earned my praise ever since the first time I've listened to them. Believe it or not, this Montreal six piece have risen to become one of my favorite new bands as of late. I bought their latest album 2007's "The Ills of Modern Man" over the summer, and I really like it alot. This album is also among one of my favorite albums of 2007, as well as being the band's best album thus far too. I practically listen to this album almost every week, and I also enjoy listening to this album especially while lifting weights at my local gym.
Like my review title says, "The Ills of Modern Man" is an absolute onslaught of sonic violence that just bludgeons, batters, and fries the listener from beginning to end. This album is an excellent follow up to the band's previous outing 2005's "The Healing Process" (great album BTW), and it's also very diverse and has lots of variety and some nice surprises as well. The producion is just excellent. The dual vocals courtesy of Alex Erian and Steve Marois are in top form here. Alex's hardcore screams and shouts are just brutal and intense, and Steve's death metal growls and pig squeals are just flat out wicked and intimidating. The guitarwork by Eric Jarrin and Yannick St.Ammand (who would leave the band and be replaced by Al Glassman after this album was recorded) is just intense. There's tons of heavy, chunky, lumbering riffs, massive earthshaking breakdowns, ear bleeding leads all over the place. Sebastien Piche's bass is also pretty darn good as well, and of course Alex Pelletier's drumming is very interesting yet intense, pummeling blast beats and clobbering double bass kicks galore.
Every song on this album is great and full of variety as well, but I'll review some of my favorite highlights anyway. Kicking off the album with a thunderous bang with the opening track "In the Arms of Perdition" which features wicked blast beats, groovy, plundering riffs, and catchy gang shout of FORGET THE MAN YOU WERE, and yes there's even a guitar solo, and a nice one too. This is no doubt my favorite song on the album. "Futive Monologue" is another favorite of mine that features some wicked pig squeals from Steve and some catchy pounding riffs and great drumming. Track three "Quarantine" is another favorite of mine which starts off with a violent barrage of plowing, rapid-fire riffage, and Cryptopsy-esque blast beats. Track four "The Ills of Modern Man" includes more slamming, battering riffs, clobbering double bass kicks, destructive blast beats, sick, wicked vocals, as well as multiple tempo changes especially near the end of the song, while the next track "A Fractured Hand" features slow, heavy, thunderous riffs, then at the 2:31 mark, the song garners up some speed with faster, vicious, plowing riffs, careening leads, and some fast pounding drums. "Fainted Blue Ornaments" is an excellent album closer that starts off at full blast with a barrage of pummeling blast beats, lumbering shredding riffs, and deadly vocal work, and a gang shout until at the 2:58 mark we head into an accoustic interlude, and then all of a sudden we have this awesome melodic guitar riff that just takes the listener by suprise.
Jeremy's song ratings:
1. In the Arms of Perdition (4:24) - 10/5 My favorite song
2. Furtive Monologue (3:22) - 5/5
3. Quarantine (4:07) - 5/5
4. The Ills of Modern Man (3:50) - 5/5
5. A Fractured Hand (4:35) - 5/5
6. Sheltered Reminiscence (3:12) - 5/5
7. Nameless (3:01) - 5/5
8. Tears of the Blameless (4:06) - 5/5
9. Oval Shaped Incisions (4:02) - 5/5
10. Fainted Blue Ornaments (5:01) - 5/5
Bottom Line: If you're a fan a Despised Icon, deathcore, death metal, metalcore, grindcore, or just extreme heavy music in general, then by all means you must buy "The Ills of Modern Man, I guarantee, it'll earn your praise just like it earned mine. Well, later guys!!