Since last year’s “The Agony Cycle” EP, the Tucson Deathcore collective known as Decayer have been on something of a rollercoaster ride. Vocalist Harrison Burkardt, guitarist duo David Scordato and Devon Marr alongside drummer Taylor Bayless and bassist Keith Huffman have laid down a cover of “Pray For Plagues” for a Deathcore Tribute to Bring Me The Horizon. They’ve then sat down and inked a deal with We Are Triumphant for this, their debut full length and persuaded Carl Schwartz and Cody Harmon to join in with the action!
54 seconds is all it takes for Instrumental “Face Value” to get things off to a groove laiden start with stuccato riffage and some tight kit work that could lull the unsuspecting listener into the Decayer being a different kind of beast entirely. Lambs to the slaughter is what it would be as some brutal uncleans appear like a monster from the depths during the opening salvo of fire from Burkardt “Finding Purpose”. There is a slow down for a Post Hardcore leaning Metalcore styled chorus passage but it’s still not only a ripper of a tune but also sees some closing Deathcore squeals. Keeping up that level of intensity “Isolation …” brings some Death Metal flavourings to the Deathcore onslaught. Some frenetic blast beats and a tastefully classically styled solo give a demonstration of the range that the band have within their ranks and when they slow it down for a final downtempo breakdown it is a mind blower. It’s a song that sums up the whole of Whitechapel‘s career sound in a single song! Featuring a guest appearance from Carl Schwartz of First Blood “A Father’s Aggression” you could be forgiven in thinking Decayer would lay down a Hardcore track. Instead Burkardt delivers some seriously caustic Deathcore vocals with a big range of pitch variation that could well shred your ear drums while the band go all out full throttle. They do tastefully slow things down for a final verse and breakdown which sees Schwartz do his work but by then it is for Decayer fans only as the Hardcore kids will have run away.
Introducing a DJent styling with some glorious tapping through the intro and onwards “Nine Years” is a surprise. Varying the vocals from the Deathcore heavy side to some post hardcore clean-ish lines while throwing in some riffs that belong to After The Burial is a fine melting pot, even if it is slightly at odds with the earlier material. “The Cycle Ends” brings with it some Progressive leanings for a 102 seconds of Instrumental that perhaps wouldn’t fit anywhere else. From the rain comes the riff and while it showcases what the band are capable of and gives something of a break from the intensity, it seems like a make weight. Referencing their previous EP, “The Agony Continues” sees the band contining their Tech-Metal infused path with some atmospheric riffage buried underneath some DJent weight. Introspective Nu-Metal lyrics are hardly a surprise given the song title and the clean vocal lines not only seem like they belong to a different vocalist, but to a different band. That’s how savage the unclean ferociousness gets. It may divide fans in time but for now it’s an enjoyable experience. Complete with pick slides and blast beats “Acid Teeth” is the quintessential Death Metal tune that will have other bands running for cover. It’s lead flourishes are rich and high energy, coming across like lightning from the storm of rhythm battery.
Off kilter, detuned downtempo guitars bring “Death Rattle” out like a snake from the long grass. Menacing and creeping, it waits to strike with a slow pounding groove that show that the band have what it takes to create the dark and brooding atmospheres of many a fellow Arizona based band. The first single from the album “Abuse Victim” sees Cody Harmon of The Breathing Process & I Killed Everyone fame lend his throat to Technical Death Metal affair that leaves no stone unturned. Harmon makes for a far better guest with his ability to sound off against Burkardt without any need to style shift. The album titled track is perhaps fittingly saved until last, given its name. “End Note” makes for a fine summary of the album itself and perhaps the direction that the band will head down in the end. The album a whole is a fine listen but there is something of Decayer finding what their sound is in it. Not experimental perhaps but expect some of the variation to fall away with coming releases [7/10]
1. Face Value
2. Finding Purpose
3. Isolation …
4. A Father’s Aggression ft. Carl Schwartz of First Blood
5. Nine Years
6. The Cycle Ends
7. The Agony Continues
8. Acid Teeth
9. Death Rattle
10. Abuse Victim ft. Cody Harmon of The Breathing Process & I Killed Everyone
11. End Note
“End Note” by Decayer is out now and available via We Are Triumphant