Shreddy Krueger

Deeper Darker

Written by: TL on 30/10/2015 13:13:51

The worst named band in metalcore is back, ladies and gentlemen, as the Canadians in Shreddy Krueger have returned this year with a sophomore album titled "Deeper Darker", which once more plunges the listener into their world of chugging low-end riff barrages and contrasting sparkling leads. And the latter continues to figure as the band's marquee quality, as the former Secret And Whisper guys still consistently deliver streaks of bright melody that stab through their otherwise murky and pummelling soundscape.

In that sense, the new album does not sound too different from the 2013 debut "The Grieving", yet on closer inspection it becomes clear that an increase in blazing guitar histrionics has come at the cost of the electronic elements the band experimented with on the previous album. And that is a shame because those added flavour and contrast to Shreddy Krueger's all but comical, more so futuristic and eerie sound. Without it, the band now figures as more straight-up metalcore with some progressive tendencies, while they still struggle with some of the same challenges as last time around, namely that vocalist Jordan Chase has room for improvement when it comes to getting the lyrics clearly across, and that the band in general struggles a bit with making individual songs stand apart in their sound.

These two issues are also the main obstacles on "Deeper Darker", and with the more metallic and progressive energy to the album, you miss the electronic touch to a "Gods" or the balladic highlight track on "The Grieving", "Inamorata", which really helped to provide buoys for the listener's attention in the otherwise violently crashing waves of guitars. Furthermore, there are stretches on the new album where the effects on the bass make it feel more like a blurry, oppressive presence than an instrument, although it routinely finds its feet again when it is time to throw some breakdown-style punches.

"Deeper Darker" is not a problem-free album then, as your sense of the band's qualities and overall personality often comes at the cost of your grasp of the identities of individual songs. Not that there are not exceptions of course. The single "Deadman's Creek" for instance, has that vibe of bringing together the band's elements just a little more strikingly than other songs. The lead guitar, in particular, does some heavy weight-lifting in terms of carrying the listener's attention through a nicely twisting and turning track, while Chase has more luck with establishing a clean vocal hook here than elsewhere, and the growls of "Laid down their lives!" serve as a central hook worth waiting for. The following "Amber Waves" also deserves credit, maybe not for being quite as wholesome a track, but the bruising riff that sets in during the second half also piques the ear more urgently than much of the surrounding material.

The best song on the album by some distance, however, is the penultimate track "Gold Blood", the opening of which blows every other song out of the water, while generally conveying a more epic feel that you wish would have characterised the rest of the album more. It is not quite enough, though, to remedy the overall impression that the "Deeper Darker" songs blur together a bit more than you want, despite the fact that they're generously adorned with many different awesome guitar parts. Ideally, Shreddy Krueger should have implemented their electronic experiments more, not less, and it would strengthen them tremendously if Chase dug deeper and came up with some both some more striking vocal patterns and some clearer lyrical articulation. Lacking such improvements, "Deeper Darker" comes off as more moderately enjoyable than its impressive predecessor, regrettably sliding the band a bit closer to the generic mass of typical metalcore bands below them.


Download: Deadman's Creek, Amber Waves, Gold Blood
For The Fans Of: Blessthefall, Underoath, The Word Alive, Chiodos (on "Illuminaudio")

Release date 23.10.2015
InVogue Records

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