Ichor – Depths (Bastardized Recordings)Thursday, 21st August 2014
Originally drawn to this one due to the tech-deathy and ocean-blue hue of the cover art. Turns out Ichor aren’t technical death metal so much as the modern variety with a pinch of deathcore tossed in. If it isn’t apparent from the massive amounts of tentacles on the cover, Depths has a number of odes to Lovecraft, while the music itself doesn’t seem to match that creepy vibe. Not that it’s a bad thing, but does feel off a bit.
Those who ready to jump ship at the mere mention of deathcore need not worry much about Ichor. Thankfully, the only traces of deathcore come about in the upfront death roars and rasps, alongside a very small number of breakdowns that are well-implemented and actually have some value to them (queue sarcasm: who would have thought, if you don’t place them obligatorily in each track, breakdowns have meaning). Depths is it’s strongest when the band is blistering ahead with no restraint. The opening tracks, barring the unnecessary intro, set a furious tone and get the adrenaline flowing. “Apophis,” “The Beasts Approach,” and “Deny Your God” are the winners on this front and the band would do well to focus in the direction of these tracks in the future. However, there is also a melodic undertone in some tracks that should be addressed as well, such as “Desire of the Depth” and “The Heretic King” that keep things from just being a speed burst. The only thing that brings down Depths is a resorting to some more vanilla chugging riffs on songs like “Leviathan.”
Depths is full of promise for the band if they stick to their guns. For the naysayers, Ichor provides proof that some deathcore elements can successfully be incorporated into the more modern death metal framework, if you are willing to put some effort into their arrangement. A band to keep your eyes on in the future.