By The Patient

Catenation Of Adversity EP

Written by: AP on 16/01/2010 17:44:30

Denmark is not renowned for its thriving death metal scene, and even less for its stake in the modern re-imagination of the genre, deathcore. Copenhagen based By The Patient mean to rectify this situation by proving that the tiny flatlands have more to offer to the international community than industrial metal and a couple of alternative rock and indie bands. What a strange name for a band, you might find yourself quizzically wondering, but its double meaning makes so much sense when listening to the music on this debut EP - intricate, technical death metal (or deathcore, if you like) that takes as much patience to comprehend and appreciate as it has taken patience to write and rehearse; and sounds like the musings of some long-term patient at an asylum.

One would think that the Americanised Myspace page is a dead giveaway, and that most likely By The Patient have little more to contribute to a disgustingly uninspired genre than same old, complete with the signature Danish sound (that cavernous, industrial echo) to make matters worse. Fortunately this is not the case, and were it not for the fact that this band incredibly remains unsigned and thereby unfinanced, they would probably enjoy quite the following overseas where deathcore is the new noise. In fact, "Catenation of Adversity" ranks among the best deathcore that has passed through my speakers. It is inspired and thoughtful, with a sly melodic edge that reveals the band's vast range of influences, from old school death metal to melodic death metal and contemporary deathcore.

Opening track "Blank Visuals", for example, begins like every other deathcore song with incomprehensible growling atop some seriously fast riffing, but then gradually moves into a powerful, slower second half during which the band briefly ventures into melodic death metal territory. "Stained Glass Revelations" sees the band experiment with rhythmic syncopation and introduces the album's first breakdown in the first half of the song, and while the breakdown is usually a sign of terrible things to come, it has been integrated so seamlessly that it does not raise a bother. The title track, on the other hand, seems like pure filler (46 seconds in length, and features some simple chugging accompanied by a couple of growled lyrics) and should have been left out, or at least integrated into the following "Degeneration Requiem", which marks the beginning of the second half of the EP and introduces us to the band's death metal alter ego - and not surprisingly some of the best material on the EP is found in these songs. "Degeneration Requiem" climbs through another impressive crescendo with ringing ambient bits and a hair-raising tremolo riff, before "The Arsonist" wraps things up with a fantastic guitar duel followed by a mouthwatering tech-metal finale.

The band's finest asset is without a doubt vocalist Tan, who sounds like the bastard son of Jonny Davy and Mitch Lucker. Thankfully the deepest growls and pig squeals à la Beneath The Massacre and Waking The Cadaver are kept at a minimum to make room for his wonderful shrieks and mid-range growls, which ensure that if you played a Suicide Silence song, a Job For A Cowboy song, and a By The Patient song right after each other, you would hold all bands in equal esteem. The various other musicians in the band combine the slow and evil with the fast and brutal in standard deathcore fashion, and while their technical prowess cannot be doubted in the faster parts, it is in the slow and mid-paced atmospheric sections where the band stands out against their peers. As already mentioned, the EP completely lacks that cavernous production intrinsic to Danish metal, so much that a naive person might guess By The Patient to be of American descent. Unlike most of their transatlantic peers, however, By The Patient have something to offer, and refuse to settle for Despised Icon-like repetition and brutality for brutality's sake - and as such, it is tempting to predict a bright future for this band. All that remains for these boys is to convince me live, and I'll be sold.

Download: Blank Visuals, Degeneration Requiem, The Arsonist
For the fans of: Job For A Cowboy, Suicide Silence
Listen: Myspace

Release date 28.09.2009

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