As They Burn – Will, Love, Life

As They Burn
Will, Love, Life
Released February 19th 2013
Deathcore/Death Metal
Released via Victory Records

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Deathcore has undergone a noticeable evolution in recent years. Gone are the “BREE BREE” pig squeals, needlessly misogynistic imagery inherited from gore metal and the pseudo thug attitude from hardcore, at least for the most part – as is evidenced in this latest effort from French band As They Burn. In its place has come more of an emphasis on groove riffs and quirky song structures that are more inspired by Meshuggah and Between the Buried and Me than the original Death Metal meets Hardcore and Screamo style, moving more towards the progressive metalcore and djent sounds.

Will, Love Life is an example of this more mature breed of death core, with the harsh vocals and groovy riffs leading the way and a strange amount of atmosphere incorporated in this style. The fate of this album may be that it is too much of a transition between styles, being neither fast or aggressive enough to be in the purely hardcore camp (and too well polished in production values perhaps); not musically complex or “Lovecraftian” enough to be considered straight up Death Metal and the guitar work here is also not start-stop-meshuggah-style-palm-muted enough to be in the Djent genre. As a result, this album occupies a grey area between genres that makes it sound more like the logical conclusion of the so-called “New Wave of American Heavy Metal” genre that dominated the early 2000s. I imagine this would appeal to those who want something that treads the line between Death Metal influenced Lamb of God style Groove Metal and the Progressive Metalcore bands that have come to prominence in recent years such as the previously mentioned Between the Buried and Me.

The band is clearly aiming at something new and progressive but get a little stuck trying to incorporate all that makes the modern Death/Metalcore scene interesting and end up sounding generic. The album manages to be more avant-garde in a way than the average Deathcore release most have come to expect in elements such as its interesting song titles but does not seem to have to have a unifying theme or message that more developed genres easily incorporate. This album is interesting because it is a bridge between the current state of Metal along the “core” spectrum and wherever it may be evolving and maturing to in the future. It very nearly manages to get itself written off as being a product of its time, but I think there is enough here for this to be popular among fans of this particular style.

3/5

Paul Gibbins

 

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