Acrania – Totalitarian Dystopia (Unique Leader)

Tuesday, 12th August 2014
Rating: 5/10

With the overflow of incredible releases from Unique Leader this year (Fallujah, The Kennedy Veil, Inanimate Existence, etc etc), it was inevitable that a dud would be launched at some point. Enter Acrania, who are bound to push some sales with their play-it-safe, generic deathcore that never bothers to step outside the box. In fact, you could probably just go right down the line of the “deathcore” checklist and you’d hit just about every one of the marks here.

On the slightly positive end, Acrania do stick to the heavier, more metallic end of the deathcore movement. When they aren’t trying to push chugging riffs and generic breakdowns down your throat, they can pummel at high velocities, but the transitions here are wishy-washy at best. Like many bands of this variety (see Lorna Shore, whose vocalist makes a guest appearance here), there is some choppy structuring to the songs in their attempt to make sure that they don’t go too far without dropping a “massive” breakdown, sure to induce karate moves in the pit. The vocals are quite versatile, but stick to the oh so familiar trappings of “bree bree,” pig squealing, and dropping as many “fucks” as possible (because teenagers love excessive cursing). The vocals are all over the album as well (instrumental “Survival Sequence” is the only exception to this), almost as if the band is trying to hide the fact that the riffing stays so close to the generic range.

Totalitarian Dystopia is the product of a band trying way too hard to “fit in with the cool kids” like Carnifex, Whitechapel, and the rest of the jock heroes of the deathcore scene. Hasn’t anyone told all these young upstarts that the deathcore trend has been on it’s way out for a while now?

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