Within Destruction – Yokai (Self-Released)Wednesday, 12th August 2020
If it’s not apparent from the vastly different cover art, Within Destruction’s third album finally sees them stretching the boundaries past deathcore. In this case, some of the deathcore remains but the band has adopted in some Japanese aesthetic (hence the cover art/title), trapcore, and metalcore aspects into the mix. It’s a much more diverse offering and it’s clear the band is heading in the right direction in terms of establishing an identity.
While in the past, much of Within Destruction’s identity was established through their more entertaining video content (and still do), it feels like the music has finally caught up with it. The music is much more playful, with the enhanced electronics and occasional trap beats (check out “B4ngb4ng!!” for the most obvious example) giving an added source of energy and sees the band stepping away from utilizing breakdowns and chugs as their go-to mechanic. That said, you can still find some pretty massive breakdowns worked into the mix, such as the title track or “Hate Me” – but they are integrated with more finesse and style, and coupled with some stronger melodies and leads. The album closes with “Sakura” and “Tokoyo-No-Kuni” and both are instrumental, the former featuring some of the best melodic guitarwork and atmosphere that the band has done, with the latter bringing in some electronic beats while keeping the melodic atmosphere coming to a solid close. A song like “King of Darkness” has blistering speed behind it, but nicely integrates some chugging grooves, melodies, and a solid solo to boot. “Alone” further emphasizes the melodic aspect, with a catchy chorus that brings up the atmosphere but doesn’t feel out of place.
While it’s bound to be a divisive release, one can’t help but be a bit impressed on how all-out Within Destruction went for Yokai. They’ve found a way to integrate the deathcore base that introduced them into something that’s much larger and more interesting to hear. With the more modern aspects it won’t be for everybody, but it you want something that’s more frenetic and ‘out there’ when it comes to ‘core, Yokai is a great starting point.