Shades Of Black

Written by: PP on 13/07/2011 03:59:23

Korpius is a death metal band from Quebec, Canada, who are enjoying a solid promotional push from their label Maple Metal Records. Few labels I know submit their material to mags with as much persistency so I finally decided to give their debut album "Shades Of Black" a shot. I'm glad I did, because it gives the age-old formula of death metal a beating and replaces it with something a little more fresh and interesting, namely melody.

Yes, it is true that adding melody to metal is nothing new (just ask Gothenburg), but what really draws me to Korpius is how they steer clear from the standard Swedish twin guitar melody and stick to raw and brutal death metal, but they do so while adding a melodic layer that makes the songs stick out. "Awaking Terror" might come across as a metalcore track to start out with, but when the guttural growls/melodic screams meet in a brutal serpentine death metal session shortly after the standardized melodic leads crash and burn, there's no doubt that we're dealing with a band far more extreme and brutal than your standard All That Remains clone.

That the production allows for a modern, clear-cut sound is also a good thing, as it allows for the lead guitar to shine without drowning the chugging rhythm guitar underneath it. It also ensures that in general, you can't fault the execution and talent behind the band because every instrument is so clearly and visibly in the mix.That said, Korpius certainly would've benefitted from sticking to just one style of vocals all the way through for some more cohesion. With the guttural style, there'd be no doubt this is a death metal band, whereas the shrieked ones draw the band inevitably towards metalcore and/or melodeath (interchangeable in 2011, as you know). With the latter one, they could have also chosen to gear up the melody even further, which is in my opinion the path that they should pursue given the strength of tracks like "Stigmatized" and "Awaking Terror". The rest are a little too standard even despite the melody versus brutality contrast I mentioned earlier. It's a good starting effort, but they are faced with a difficult choice for the sophomore album: whether to go more brutal, or even more melodic. I'm rooting for the latter.

Download: Stigmatized, Awaking Terror
For the fans of: Zyklon, death metal with melody
Listen: Myspace

Release date 04.04.2011
Maple Metal Records

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