Thursday, 22 January 2015

Despite - EPic


Swedish death metal. As fluid and as reliable and night and day. I mean that is best possible sense of course! From it's raw, early days when the likes of Treblinka, Nihilist and others kicked it all off, to the modern day melodic masters like In flames and Dark Tranquillity took it towards the mainstream, it's a genre that's always been consistently strong. People will no doubt be familiar with the signature "Gothenburg sound" and it's main protagonists, but here's another name to add to the list.

Despite reside in that fabled Swedish city and have been around since 1998. The year that Entombed released Same Difference, these guys were just starting out. It took them until 2009 to release their first full-length, In Your Despite. Since then they've released another full-length, Clenched and this EP, which they originally released last year. The EP is now getting a re-release by CreHate Music in time for the band's 2015 tour of the UK.

Tracklist:-

1. As You Bleed
2. Awakening
3. Unexceptional
4. Give Me Life
5. Sanctum Falls

Okay okay, so we’re all familiar with Sonic Syndicate and a million other In Flames rip-offs, but that’s no reason to forsake modern Swedish death metal completely. It still has a very valid place in the grand metal scheme and Despite are making their presence felt with EPic. As You Bleed features trace elements of Meshuggah and song-writing chops that show that Despite are aiming for higher things.  Their’s is an off-kilter and heavy racket, interjected by clean lead work and vox. What Despite do well is ensure that they are more parts heavy than they are melodic, like on Awakening. They throw in some very accomplished guitar playing and double bass to keep the intensity high. 

That intensity is ramped up further for Unexceptional, which thankfully doesn’t describe the song! The production is another point to mention on EPic, as Despite have made sure it’s crisp and clear. Their use of Eastern instrumentation during song, does add variation and originality though. They present more urgency on Give Me Life, which seems to condense their modern metal, making it heavier. The melodic passage in the second half of the song reminds me of Soilwork, which is no bad thing at all. I’m still a fan of catch melodic choruses.

Closing with Sanctum Falls, Despite are at their best. They’ve been able to write a concise modern metal song that would be at home on Scuzz or Kerrang TV. So this is metal that straddles the path between mainstream acceptance and underground fervour, but lets not take anything away from Despite. They’ve got the skill and the musical presence to be able to pull it off. EPic is an EP that will pull new fans in for both the band and for heavy music. This band should really be bigger!

Stream EPic here:-




It's available to purchase digitally from Despite's bandcamp page above.

Despite Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Despite
Crehate Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/crehatemusic

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