ReviewsDespised Icon – Déterré (Nuclear Blast)

Despised Icon – Déterré (Nuclear Blast)

After a short touring window because of the pandemic following their 2019 album release Purgatory, the Canadian deathcore veterans Despised Icon didn’t rest when it comes to creative endeavors. Thus we have a quick hitting EP for Déterré – five rare songs that continue to embrace the group’s penchant for quick hitting transitions, progressive musical interplay, fierce screams / pig squeal / growling vocal contrasts that develop into intriguing, memorable compositions with hints of outside the box influences.

The stairstep, crossover-like riffing that shifts from low chugging to steady groove mechanisms puts “Bulletproof Scales” at pit-inducing measures – the transition electric as you get oddly shaped fluid bass passages against some scathing Voivod-ish guitar madness. Then the blasting intensity next to the savage growls and blood curdling high-pitched roars during “Oval Shaped Incisions” once again transports the listener into this turbulent insanity, the slower guitar harmonies next to the dual vocal presence never failing to make hair follicles rise to full attention. The sextet sharpens the attack at a variety of tempos, never staying stuck in one gear, which builds into the next part or song ready to sever bodies limb by limb. Employing a mix of stop/start tactics plus the ferocity and intensity one expects from a deathcore act, these musicians stand out because their songwriting beyond the execution contains the right mix of catchy hooks alongside the penetrating aural assault followers have come to expect in this genre.

Admittedly for this scribe, deathcore can be a tough sell when growing up on the more melodic metal terrain. Yet Despised Icon succeed to win me over because as a unit, they strive to maintain a dynamic level of integrity while delivering songs that aren’t just flashes of technical prowess or going for the easiest ‘breakdown’ accents in the expected places. Déterré may only be 18 minutes and change, but it’s the type of output that will send followers hunting for more, waiting for the next opportunity to hear this chaos live.

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8.5 / 10