Frontal – Death Eaters (Klonosphere)Sunday, 22nd June 2014
Frontal isn’t exactly a name that screams metal (full frontal anyone?), but that doesn’t stop France’s Frontal from doing their best Meshuggah gone deathcore impression. Now before you get all upset about the dreaded “core” word, know that like a number of other European bands that get associated with deathcore, there is some technical skill involved in the Frontal camp and they don’t spend three-quarters of the album dropping breakdowns.
The next stunner on Death Eaters is the nuanced, complex nature that reveals itself over a number of listens. Initially unimpressed, it was only through a few more listens that the often djenty, Meshuggah-influenced riffing began to reveal some of it’s glories. Admittedly, this is done in a more straight-forward fashion but the numerous time changes of “Inferno” or the visceral riffing of “One To Kill Them All” is sure to win some people over if they give the album a chance. They also use plenty of groove while moving through the disc, giving songs like “New Journey” plenty of catchy backbone to rely on.
Frontal do give a good first impression with Death Eaters, but there is also some room for improvement. On the few occasions that they feel compelled to bring a breakdown, they seem a bit stereotypical. With all the complex, Meshuggah-isms throughout the disc, you have to wonder why they felt the breakdowns were even necessary. If you aren’t truly listening to the album, it will start to blend together a bit, and one of the leading causes is the vocals. Throaty roars fill the disc, with only the title-track to add some semi-clean vocals to intriguing effect without feeling cliché. The track “Death Eaters” stands out due to this, and the band’s ability to place a bit more riff variety around it. As it stands, Death Eaters should have plenty of appeal to those wanting some djent-y fun that doesn’t rely on being a breakdown factory.