Violence & Destruction

Written by: PP on 29/11/2014 15:16:05

Someone's been listening closely to a few Deftones records in their youth, huh? Islander, who hail from Greenville, South Carolina, bear striking resemblance to the experimental nu-metal giants thanks to their spacious, almost dreamy instrumental soundscapes that vary between crushing heaviness and somber contemplation often in the same song. More importantly, vocalist Mikey Carvajal utilizes a very similar melancholic howl as a certain Chino Moreno does, and spices that approach with plenty of nu-metal / rap-metal style melodies that you might have heard on a P.O.D. record. Perhaps this is due to the influence of P.O.D. vocalist Sonny Sandoval, who makes a guest appearance on "Criminals" towards the end of the album. However, both influences are used gracefully to avoid direct clone accusations by fusing them together seamlessly on their debut album "Violence & Destruction". The resulting sound is an eerie reminder of just how good the best nu-metal bands were before the genre crashed and burned into oblivion during the mid 2000s, only to resurface as a source of inspiration on albums like this one a decade later.

While album opener "Counteract" is very screamy and hardcore-rooted in its approach, already track two "The Sadness Of Graves" displays Islander's knack for writing back-chilling, expansive melodies with crunchy guitars providing the power underneath the soothing howled melodies of Mikey Carvajal. It's a remarkably similar approach as taken by Sweden's Korea on a number of albums now, where they are directly touching upon Deftones-style echoing, immersive soundscapes that feel destined for the big arena-sized stages before they reach their full potential. One of these is the haunting "Pains", whose "these corpses, these corpses" repetitions leads into a throat-shredding scream of "are paved with gold" shortly after. The guitars screech and float far away in the background of the sound to create an illusion of space and size, and it works exceptionally well both here and on the rest of the album. "Kingdom", the highlight track on the album, uses precisely this technique with its quiet, electronically infused build up that leads into an epic, back-chilling melody explosion of extended open-ended riffing and captivating howls by Carvajal during its climaxing point. This is probably the most experimental track on the album and in stark contrast to "New Wave", another great track on the record, which relies more on traditional catchy chorus elements than the quiet/loud dynamic of "Kingdom".

Overall, "Violence & Destruction" is a formidable statement for a debut album, jam-packed with depth-laden songs that successfully pass the longevity test by offering enough texture and detail to permanently engrain itself into your memory. Yes, it sounds a whole lot like Deftones, but is that such a bad thing?


Download: Kingdom, New Wave, Pains, The Sadness Of Graves, Coconut Dracula
For the fans of: Deftones, Korea, Glassjaw, Taproot, P.O.D
Listen: Facebook

Release date 08.07.2014
Victory Records

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