Review: “Death Reign” by Smack’d Up

After an incredible year in 2019 that saw Sacramento, California Deathcore crew Smack’d Up take to the stage with Lorna ShoreEnterprise Earth and Boundaries to name but a few, they’ve returned with a new EP entitled “Death Reign“. Recorded and produced by Chris Biermans with additional Drum production edits by Nick Hyatt of Precursor Studios, Matt Kupers (Vocals), Chris Biermans (Guitar), Jordan Alvarez (Drums), Mike Sebastian (Guitar) and Zach Molzer (Bass) deliver 16 minutes of Deathcore they want you to sink your teeth into…

…As the heavy rain shower brings in “Waste Of Life” you might think you’re about to get struck across the back of the head by a hammer with a mugger then stealing your wallet as you lay unconscious on the ground. A largely instrumental affair other than Kupers brutal roar, the track offers some haunting leads as well as the expected DJent infused Deathcore riffs that whet your appetite for “Malice“. That one tempo shifts several times with blast beats and frenetic riffs dropping to Downtempo grooves while those lead parts heard in “Waste Of Life” echo through. Kupers shows off a full range of vocals, moving from some savagely brutal Deathcore growls though to some throaty Slams, while the partially buried pair of rap lines might catch you off guard as they don’t seem to belong first time around and would perhaps be better suited to a hardcore track. “Death Reign” sees DJent infusions take hold with some brilliantly brutal Tech-Metal riffs added to the Deathcore mix. The song is a rant against corrupt politicians destroying the lives of those they should be helping and the musical wrapping makes for killer track with Alvarez deserving of credit for a powerhouse performance on the kit. “Exodus” brings back the heavy rain shower of “Waste Of Life” with some haunting choral and piano enhancements as a palette cleanser for “Unholy” which is a violent staccato play on silences that slices and dices it’s way through anything in its path. There are some more Progressive Deathcore elements towards the back end with some fine lead work that builds on the dark atmosphere and creates lighting to match the dense thunderous moments. “Your Final Resting Place (Kino Der Toten)” or German for “Cinema of the Dead” is probably the most brutal of the tracks offering some demonic vocals and Deathcore bounce in a short and violent track that you want to continue but it seemingly cuts short. The EP is one that you’ll want to push play again on as soon as it finishes [8.5/10]

1. Waste Of Life
2. Malice
3. Death Reign
4. Exodus
5. Unholy
6. Your Final Resting Place (Kino Der Toten)

Death Reign” by Smack’d Up is out now and available over at bandcamp

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *