REVIEW: Despite Exile – Re-Evolve EP
Thanks to Team All About The Music for setting me up with this EP!
Band: Despite Exile
Album: Re-Evolve EP
Genre: Djenty deathcore
Back for more after their début EP last year (review here), it appears that Italian upstarts Despite Exile have had a change of heart after providing Americanized melodic deathcore last time round. Although not a complete U-turn, the band have now morphed into something more machine-like…They’ve now added djent into the formula, along with a couple of other improvements and adaptations in Re-Evolve EP, a digestible portion of three songs at 11 minutes total, all of which have been premiered on various sites.
“Oscillate” gets underway off in a true djent-core fashion, mixing in Meshuggah-like tones with some guitar flourishes from Santini and Ferraro, but it’s not long before the familiar “Unanswered”-like guitar melodies float back in. The band seem to have acknowledged my criticism about the vocals last time, and now Durisotti’s Lamb Of God-like highs shrieks and low growls have been boosted to an audible level in the mix. The rhythm is understandably very tight, Minozzi’s bass and Veselinovic’s drums making sure nothing’s out of place, and while the grooving breakdowns are not my thing, they fit into the band’s sound well.
“Perfection Neutralized”, the lead single off this EP, presents an even heavier track to the previous one, in the same vein but unique enough not to be formulaic. Although the Meshuggah integration results in a déjà-vu feel, it’s clear that the band’s songwriting has matured since Scarlet Reverie, particularly in the little guitar flourishes that dot the EP, as well as Durisotti pushing his vocal chords even further. The lyrics have also improved in a poetic sense; lines like “The horizon falls/The sky and the sea becomes one/No more limits for you/Now you can fly/Perfection neutralized” being a step up from last time, and contend with the stereotype of poor quality English lyrics from Italy.
“Mechanical” is an excellent way of describing the sound Despite Exile is proposing here, kicked up a notch with some death metal influence in the drums. The way that they blend in the genres is quite intriguing, and certainly makes a refreshing change from the copycat bands that are flooding the scene of late. The haunting melodies also contribute well to the atmosphere, and while the breakdown is a little too long, the overall feeling after the EP comes to a close is one of satisfaction.
Re-Evolve EP ticks many of the right boxes in the deathcore genre, and Despite Exile surprised me with this change in style. Incorporating variation and yet still sticking to a distinct approach is a tough balance, but they struck it well here. I can see this band making waves in the deathcore scene, especially when they get more material under their collective belts. For now, sample the EP below, and check the band out on Facebook.