Monday, April 18, 2011

The Famine: The Architects of Guilt (2011)

I picked up The Famine's The Architects of Guilt on a recommendation from Vince Neilstein at MetalSucks. He professed to be skeptical of Christian metal in general, and Solid State in particular, and referred to The Famine as death metal in the vein of Abysmal Dawn and Morbid Angel, but with a hint of Slayer. Though a Christian myself, I'm also generally skeptical (but optimistic) about Christian metal, and especially skeptical of Solid State, but that sounded like a pretty damn good recommendation.

Architects of GuiltYou'd think someone like Vince Neilstein--who makes money by writing about metal--would know deathcore when he hears it. This is straight-up, 100% deathcore, and the only time you might think it's truly death metal is in the intro to "The Crown and the Holy See". Even then, once the vocals come in they change back into deathcore. Despite being deathcore, it's not all bad. The music is very immediate and cleanly produced. The riffs are mostly metalcore, but some are played heavier in the deathcore style. The vocals are mostly higher-pitched, strained screams, but there are some passable death growls. The drums are nothing special, and you won't ever notice the bass as a distinct instrument.

Opener "The New Hell" is a pretty killer song, and many of the tracks have a solo played over the top of the breakdowns, saving those parts of the songs from being boring. But by fourth track "Turner Classic Diaries", which is basically a series of breakdowns, the weakness of nearly all deathcore becomes apparent. It just gets boring. Follow-up "Bigger Cages, Longer Chains!" sounds like I already heard it before, earlier on the album. The aforementioned "The Crown . . ." is a much better offering, but everything after that is yawn city. And the solo to "Pyrithion House" is so tired and generic I can barely stand it.

The Verdict: It's more deathcore. I've got no grudge against the genre, and for about the length of four songs it can be interesting. After that, I could fall asleep. I give it 2 out of 5 stars.

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