Despised Icon – Day of Mourning (Century Media Records)

Sunday, 17th March 2013
Rating: 7.5/10

Four years ago, deathcore or anything being played by Despised Icon or Ion Dissonance was happenin’. As the far-distant cousin to metalcore, the early forays of both Canadian bands were exciting and shockingly heavy. Four years later, it’s stale, over-played, and generic. Don’t tell that to DI, though,Day of Mourning is the fully realized idea of a subgenre soon to topple itself. Get in while you can.

In contrast to their very excellent The Healing Process and above average The Ills of ModernDay of Mourning sees DI relinquish a fair portion of the “bree-bree” vocal attack in lieu of a more standard death metal approach. While this serves the album well in more ways than one, the propensity to drop in a beatdown (ref: “Les Temps Changent,” “MVP,” and “Made of Glass”) broadsides the band’s very potent death metal blend.

Nevertheless, the semi-melodic surge of the title track along with the hefty, hefty thump of “Eulogy” and “Black Lungs” do more than enough to keep Despised Icon vibrant and in motion. And kudos to “Sleepless” (no, it’s not an Anathema cover) – a true departure track that utilizes drawn-out clean guitars and darkened melodies that’s wisely tacked on at the very end of the album.

Proof that death metal circa 2009 is as multi-faceted and downright befuddling as it ever has been, Day of Mourning won’t make anyone ditch those classic Tampa DM records, but this new generation, breast-fed on Job For a Cowboy, Black Dahlia Murder and Despised Icon will surely continue to suck and suck away.

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