Decimate the Weak
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UK pressing of the 2008 album from this California Death Core Metal outfit who have toured with other Metal heavyweights like Bleeding Through, Despised Icon, and Shai Hulud amongst others. 'Decimate The Weak was recorded with Daniel Castleman (As I Lay Dying) and Mixed by the legendary Tue Madsen (Dark Tranquillity, The Haunted). 10 tracks. Century Media.
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The album opens with the aptly-entitled "A Cold Day In Hell," a triumphant-sounding symphonic intro that has been heard on many-a-Dimmu Borgir and Cradle Of Filth release. The record's first real song, though, "Anthems Of Apocalypse," is highlighted by a deliciously clean, melodeath-derived guitar solo, which is surrounded by some memorable, crunching Swedish riffing, machine gun drum blasting (including one excellent drum fill), and pounding, Pantera-sounding tough guy breakdowns. Just the right amount of keyboard ear candy is sprinkled into the mix, here, too. And following that comes "The Impaler," a distinctly Devildriver-esque number with commanding opening power chords, and chunky, mosh pit ready riffs throughout (except, of course, for a breakdown in the mid-section, which is where a nice, symphonic melody pops its head up.) But the title song is a bigger standout than any of these songs, and it is quite possibly the album's highlight. It overflows with near grind-worthy brutality, including rabid, black metal-styled vocals and furious blast beats. And later on, the track adopts a very Hatebreed-like breakdown with a hardcore, call-and-response vocal refrain, which sets the scene very nicely for another melodeath-influenced melodic guitar solo.
But it is "Origins And Endings" that takes the cake for being "Decimate"'s highlight from a melodic standpoint, though. It is a much more restrained and involved inclusion with plenty of noteworthy keyboard and tasty melodic guitar soloing. And it is further highlighted by a Biohazard-lite, shout-it-out vocal refrain near its end, too. "Reloaded," an amelodic romp with blistering guitars and tight, slamming drums, is another standout. And "Unbreakable," a cut of pure, Swedish death metal which adheres to a deep, catchy, thrashing groove, and Lamb Of God-meets-Devildriver vocals, is another. It does make room for some synth/keyboard flourishes, but only a little bit -- they are used as an afterthought this time around. (And the track is also further highlighted by a noteworthy, if mini, grumbling bass interlude.) And the set closer, "Legions," which builds from an ominously atmospheric intro before launching into a spot of breakneck, grind-worthy blasting, thrashy picking, and Carcass-worshipping vocals, is one more.
So definitely pay attention to Winds Of Plague, a promising young band to watch. After all, the California-sextet are clearly on to something big, here (like producing music that, while not life-altering in its levels of innovation, is certainly accomplished, enjoyable, and well-rounded.) And so what's the verdict on "Decimate The Weak"? A solid effort through and through, even if it is one that does have a couple of boring parts.
One of the main things that stands out with this album (and band) is the use of keyboards which creates a very distinct atmosphere. With out these, I don't think the album would have had as much of an impact on me.
I won't ramble on and on and I apologize if my review isn't very informative but I felt that I should at least encourage any metal fan to at least give this one a shot. You won't regret it!