Review: “Self-Titled” EP by Dematerialize

Signed to Famined Records, the home of Harmed, are Illinois quartet Dematerialize. The band promise to “make use of relentless chugs, melodic sweeps and atmospheric keys to mercilessly pound the listener into submission” in their mission statement. Them be bold words.

Soaked in high energy fury “Ephemeral” uses some Metalcore lead guitar work underpinned by some pounding kit work and the sort of nuanced tempo changes that will have Vein looking over their shoulders. Including buried electronics underpinning a catchy set of lines, it’s not difficult to see the song expanded in the live arena to allow the audience to do a call and response sing-a-long. As the shortest song on the EP, it serves to set the tone with some menacing atmospherics. Including the mention of Dematerialize, the song maybe the first the band wrote and even where they took their name from. “Doom” gets things twisted with a horror story of sorts, keeping the buried electronics to provide an off kilter eerie vibe while adding some very heavier guitar work. It continues that menacing vibe from the opening tune with some slow, downtuned riffs and synths intertwining to great effect. “The Insomniac” kicks off with some Tech-Metal lead flourishes before returning to the downtuned onslaught of breakdown piled upon breakdown with Misstiq-esq synths lifting the sound and replacing the leads during part of that concentrated artillery bombardment of chugging riffs and pounding kit work. It has a haunting, dark quality that is more Melodic Deathcore and perhaps has more in common with the sort of Symphonic Deathcore that older Winds of Plague material has, less of a punch in the vocals which are higher pitched.

“Primordial” features a guest appearance from Ryan Wilmot of Speaking With Ghosts and continues the heavy synth work while interweaving it with an intro solo before a Juggernaut of breakdown riffage from axe wielding duo Craig Hoffman and Jeremy Verbin. Wilmot’s lower vocal resonance is a nice contrast to frontman Stephen Jinga’s higher pitch and creates a balance that works well. The song maintains the haunting quality of the EP as a whole and there is the suspicion that this is the sound that Chelsea Grin aware looking to achieve with Tom Barber (formerly of Lorna Shore) on board. “The Behavioural Sink” has a much more classical Metal lead guitar intro albeit underpinned by some Deathcore riffs that move around Tech-Metal and head towards DJent territory. Sticksman Bryce Tollner deserves a lot of praise for his work on this EP, his technical drumming performance gives a lot in terms of building the bands sound and providing a thunderous backdrop to the guitar work. It’s particularly evident on this cut as the lead work flows more freely across a slower, pounder of a song. “Sonder” introduces the sort of technical guitar work that Currents used on “The Place I Feel Safest” with fast paced sections that drop down to slower patterns to allow for more complex vocal flow. There is a distinct almost Ghouls & Ghosts feel in places with those haunting synths rematerializing (did you see what we did there?) in the later part of the track which closes out with that slow death chug smothering sound that is prominent throughout.

The self-titled release from Dematerialize takes some listening to. It’s a complex beast that fuses together an array of styles to create the bands sound and while they’re not unique in their offering, they’re certainly among the best at what they do. This isn’t an EP that you can put on in the background and go about your day. It’s one that commands attention in the way that the better progressive Metalcore releases do simply because there is so much going on. The synths are a real point of difference and at times they are louder in the mix than everything else. This is a fine offering and hopefully Dematerialize get the attention they deserve for their collective hard work on this cut [7/10]

Tracklisting

  1. “Ephemeral”
  2. “Doom”
  3. “The Insomniac”
  4. “Primordial” Ft. Ryan Wilmot of Speaking With Ghosts
  5. “The Behavioural Sink”
  6. “Sonder”

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