Saturday, March 31, 2012

Conducting from the Grave - Revenants

Conducting from the Grave released their second album roughly two years ago and has succeeded to get moderate attention from the metal community. This may come as a surprise to those who haven’t heard this album, but this is one of my favorite deathcore records. Usually, when people think of really non-generic deathcore bands, they think of either being heavier than normal (Whitechapel), or really technical (All Shall Perish). Conducting from the Grave isn’t what I would call COMPLETELY generic, but they do hold a lot of the traits found in almost every deathcore band. Although the deathcore fan might have a much easier time enjoying this record, I don’t see anything in this album that would work as an obstruction keeping someone from enjoying it.

Conducting from the Grave isn’t what I would call “progressive” because the things that they do have already been done before. But here’s what I think about that: there are the bands that create the base of a genre, the bands that come right after that and solidify the genre. Then there are the “progressive” bands, which can either be one of two types. There are the progressive bands that create something totally new off of the already solidified genre base, and the bands that “fuse” the solidified genre with something else. I think that everything done by these “progressive” bands should be re-done by other bands to solidify and attempt to perfect those fusions and/or progressions. The point where it really starts to get old is when there are still NEW bands doing the exact same thing that bands have been doing for 20+ years. I consider Conducting from the Grave one of those bands that is working to perfect progressions and fusions done by other bands, as well as just try to do what the other bands did…except do it better.

The introduction in the first track is played in a soft minor key with very little distortion. After that, it leads into a steady (but not super-fast) tempo with moderately fast double-kicks. The chords and melodies are unique and new in the sense that no one has done the exact same thing, but they’re not new in the sense that they’re creating something completely new. But to be honest, it sounds fucking amazing. The partial breakdowns that the band uses and the guitar melodies are memorable and extremely catchy; which is EXACTLY what I like to hear in deathcore.

None of the musicians are AMAZING, but they all know each other’s strengths and work to cover everyone’s weaknesses (if there are any). The band is extremely tight for the entire duration of the album. The way the drums sound really enhance this tightness the band has during the more complex parts and the slower breakdowns heard in songs like The Tyrant’s Throne and Curse in the Twilight. Speaking of how everything sounds…everything sounds amazing! You can hear EVERYTHING and the word overpowering fails to accurately describe any part of this record. I absolutely love the clean distortion the guitars have; they’re not too crunchy.

This album has technical riffs all throughout the record, but not in the rhythm guitar parts like All Shall Perish. The album has fairly simplistic rhythm guitar lines that have technical lead guitar parts layered on top to give the music some more power. It seems that more and more bands are picking up on the thing that Whitechapel created. You can hear in just about all of Whitechapel’s songs where there is a really edgy and ambient lead guitar part in the BACKGROUND during the slower breakdowns that make them sound so fucking dark and creepy. Well, Conducting from the Grave is one of those bands that have picked up on that trend. But it never seems to get old for me because it’s so fucking cool! I absolutely love it as long as it’s not overused; and most of the bands that have been doing that have been very careful not to overdo it.

Probably my favorite member on this particular album is the vocalist. He doesn’t have the deepest growl I’ve ever heard, but he has one of the scariest and hair-raising growls that could easily be mistaken for an enraged demon. His screams are top-notch and actually fairly high-pitched to make his growls sound that much more demonic when he drops from a scream to a growl. It seems that even though the quality of deathcore music is gradually going downhill, the vocalists seem to be better than ever! Although this album is the exact opposite of a poor quality album, the vocalist on this record should receive TONS of credit.

Conducting from the Grave have proved themselves worthy of getting the “fucking awesome” title by taking that big step up that every band needs to take from releasing an average-quality debut to writing a “fucking awesome” sophomore album. I would actually recommend this to any deathcore fan and anyone curious to hear a very high-quality deathcore album. I would give this 18/20.