Of Mice & Men
The Mo Club, Southampton, UK - 16/4
A Warm And Dark Embrace
Written by: PP on 25/01/2012 09:34:24
I'm still dealing with my 2011 backlog to some extent, but since it is late January, it's time to kick off my 2012 coverage. The first record I've taken a look at this year is the debut solo album by Damien Deadson, the alter ego of Ryan Helm of Demon Hunter fame, who has been working on "A Warm And Dark Embrace" whenever time has allowed him for the better part of the last two years. If you came in expecting another Demon Hunter-esque release, you'll be disappointed, because his solo work draws surprisingly little from his main band, and much more from a wealth of other influences.
Basically, "A Warm And Dark Embrace" is an album where influences of djent and clean vocal metalcore intersect in a fresh, modern expression that finally feels like breath of fresh air in a genre many have labelled dead for the better part of the last few years. Breakdowns are non-existent in the expression, replaced by groovy, heavily down-tuned Meshuggah-inspired djent riffing, and more often than not, electronics effects and keyboard that play a large role in giving the album its modern and different-sounding flavor. But what's more interesting is that screaming has been pushed to a side role on this album, allowing Helm's Fear Factory-esque haunting clean vocal melodies to shine. The screaming is only used as a contrast to allow Helm to really project his melodic cleans on top of the djent guitars, which in turn creates an interesting overall expression that seems to conflict what we know about djent and metalcore from the past. On one hand, the inherent complexity and sense of progressive exhibited by the djent guitars assumes "A Warm And Dark Embrace" to be a difficult listen, but the melodic cleans meet the listener halfway and give the album an accessible, at times incredibly catchy vibe. It's an intersection of metalcore-turns-Fear Factory level catchy choruses, and the more intricate and complex instrumentals we've grown to expect from bands in the djent genre when it blew up properly in the last year or two.
The result is an album that feels almost futuristic in nature, and is a far cry from the dated and generic metalcore sound you would've otherwise expected. It's quite simply a breath of fresh air and originality in a genre that's been in dire need of that for a long while now. Djent fans and metalcore fans alike should welcome Damien Deadson with open arms in 2012.
Download: A Night-Sea Journey, Challenges Of Change, The Faultline
For the fans of: Meshuggah meets Fear Factory meets metalcore
Release date 29.01.2012
The Nothing by Damien Deadson