|Death Metal, Deathcore
Release length: 38:47
Sadly there’s a good deal to talk about. The quality to Demo 2010 is actually pretty good. The bass often shines through, though it’s not too deep. It does add enough of a blunt sound to the guitars, which are also pretty loud and have a bit of a more sharp edge to them then a blunt on, giving the music more of a traditional Death Metal sound for modern times, and even allowing some melody to come into play. The guitar solos here sound great as well, and many come through nicely like the more passionate sound one towards the end of “Vague & Void.” The drumming here even sounds great with it thanks to some moderately loud yet commanding cymbol crashes and snares, the latter of which do sound a little hollow yet tight, and bass kicks that are pretty obvious in the mix and present a strong click to the music. The vocals here are louder then anything, which isn’t too bad as they are still at a decent level where the higher volume doesn’t mess with the performance that is recorded in any sense, coming through with a mixture of rhaspy screams, but mostly finding a guttural performance common to the Deathcore style, but executed quite while.
But this louder sound does start to wreak havoc on the music almost immediately. Chances are good you will not pick up on this at the start of the album, but the feedback from the distortion here is horrible. “The Maze” kicks things off with a high energy Deathcore track that really takes some strong traditional Death Metal material into consideration without regressing into constant chugging, though a good amount still does exist. The breakdown sounds like your simpler one-note approach, but the drums and bass manage to fill the music up well enough with the often just shy of mid-tempo pace to keep them from feeling boring and lazy, though still not really offering much to benefit the song, unlike the guitar solo at the end that gives the track a bit of an epic and really pulls it back from the somewhat mundane edge the breakdown had pushes it too. “Host” doesn’t stop this pace either and goes right for the listener’s face once more with some intense Death Metal chords with less chugging, but this is when you’ll really pick up on the faults of the distortion on the backing guitars.
Have you ever turned an old black and white television set off, or any older electronic device whatsoever, and had to wait while the tubes to turn off, and you get that tinny sound to them before stopping? Hell, even a blown out speaker that gives off a similar sound? Well then you know what to expect, and if not you’ll be introduced to it. That’s exactly what you get here from this point on. “Host” finds the backing guitar giving a terrible tinny feedback during the open parts of breakdowns once the chords or done, as well as the chugging and even during the song itself, progressively getting worse as the song goes on. And once you hear it, you can’t not hear it. You’ll pick up on it constantly even if the music masks it well. And the sad part is that it’s the most irritating thing to this release and it can really kill the impact some of these songs have. Another issue that does seem to rear it’s ugly head is the forced breaths. While competing with that tinny noise on “Vague & Void,” during some of the deeper guttural moments you’ll pick up on the microphone’s sensitivity catching the pushed “f”s and “p”s in the song, as if the pop-guard had been removed. It doesn’t really come through as much as the tin sound though, and unless you pay close attention half the time you’ll miss it since this actually isn’t the first time it happens, but the earliest you’d catch it on a casual listen. Also worth mentioning is the metallic ringing you’ll experience during “Unwritten.” This isn’t necessarily a bad thing and only occurs for a short amount of time, but again, like the tinny sound, shows that recording at loud levels does have repurcussions and, sadly, they do hurt this effort.
If you can look past those two faults, which one will obviously be harder to do then the other, you’re looking at more solid material like “The Maze” and “Host” have to offer. But one of the more impressive is “The Twilight Moon with Suns of Gold,” and it’s easily one of the more impressive songs of this style to hit the Deathcore scene in a while. The song really takes in a stronger Melodic Death Metal input to the mix, and that catchier hook-driven sound fuels the energy of this track well. It’s even nicely reflected in some of the breakdowns, and the solos, especially the breakdown earlier on in the track that includes a jaw-dropping solo that fits the atmosphere of the song perfectly. One could say it’s hard to believe that a song like this exists on this release, but given the potential All From Beside shows here, it’s impossible to even pretend that the track came out of nowhere. The only gripes here is that the not so deep bass does end up providing some empty areas when the guitar is off doing a solo or being heavily melodic, feeling a bit too open and airy in comparison to the already heavy material. This happens on other tracks as well, and it does hurt things a bit going from such rich material to some rather open-sounding music, but overall these moments don’t seem to last too long. The same happens at the start of “Disaster Tale” which is sad since it begins to strong, then goes into an empty area. The track itself is much slower and again focuses on a Melodic Death Metal meets Metalcore sound more then a Death Metal / Deathcore approach, which isn’t too bad an idea coming off the awe-inspiring “The Twilight Moon with Suns of Gold,” though it can have some groovier moments and breakdowns that, of course, don’t work, but guitar solos that will make your jaw drop once more and suit the atmosphere perfectly, though this time they can feel a little out of place when really pushing for the over-the-top passionate approach given the slower, bassier sound.
Honestly, once the album finished for the first time, the only thought to come to mind was simply, “Why am I reviewing a demo? Why isn’t this band signed yet?!” All From Beside is a fantastic offering of Death Metal, Deathcore, and even Melodic Death Metal. Some songs stay grounded to the “-core” philosophies, which is fine and offer up some strong material regardless of the stereotypical or generic ideas incorporated. But the band really seems to evolve in front of your eyes and ears as they progress towards the melodic sound of their music and continue to build material that pushes the over-the-top sound a bit too far, but most of the time is just right and leaves the album feeling like an atmospheric experience like no other for the style. If you haven’t heard of All From Beside yet, I guarantee you will whether you want to or not, so it’s well worth checking out this band now and getting in on the ground floor. But just be prepared to do battle with some obvious production glitches and many breakdowns that don’t offer much to the experience. Those are really the only reasons why this release doesn’t get the score it deserves, which honestly would be upwards of near flawless. But, even with that said, Demo 2010 by All From Beside is an impressive album you’re going to come back to time and again despite it’s faults, just not as much as you would had these issues not existed.
01. The Maze – 4:54
02. Host – 4:32
03. Vague & Void – 4:30
04. Glass Clarity – 2:32
05. The Twilight Moon with Suns of Gold – 4:52
06. Disaster Tale – 6:11
07. Since it’s Inception – 0:36
08. Nex – 5:41
09. Unwritten – 4:58
|Overall Score: 8/10
Digital review copy of this release provided by All From Beside.