Despised Icon: The Healing Process

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Despised Icon: The Healing Process
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Despised Icon: The Healing Process
Deathcore, Grindcore
Century Media Records
April 5th, 2005
Release length: 32:10
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Quickly becoming one of the important bands in the quickly booming Deathcore scene is the Canadian based Despised Icon. With their second full length release, The Healing Process, it is fairly easy to see why this band is receiving as much attention as they are, as the band’s intense, yet not too over-the-top, sound is very well done and acts moreso as a death metal release that happens to have some subtle hardcore or metalcore influence. Sadly, this is only for the first half of the album…pretty much literally.

The Healing Process, as stated, is a very intense record. Much of the album is a blistering death metal assult with some insane blast beats and double bass kicks very reminiscent to a more grindcore-tinged sound then hardcore. The band does put use to the inward gutteral “pig squeels” through each song, but they are not abused or thrown in for pretty much no reason. Instead, we are greeted with a very heavy brutal death metal musical arrangement thanks to these, and the fast paced, somewhat complex guitar riffs that surround the music. There is, of course, a strong presence of hardcore thrown into the mix, but not enough to completely derail the album early on like many releases out that at the time this was released. Most of the time you’ll only find one breakdown on the song, and it’s a very well executed one that doesn’t truly interrupt the flow of the song, but, there are a few tracks that interlace more hardcore then death metal, and sometimes it winds up just being a bit too much and ultimately conflicts with the music. Thankfully these happen towards the end and we have five rather stand out tracks out of it all.

Take “Retina” for instance, this very death metal heavy song stays just that until the song nears it’s conclusion, where we are greeted with a breakdown, and then music that would ultimately be found on any hardcore album closing out the track. This doesn’t really hurt it, but the latter of the two come out of nowhere and kind of clashes with the music. And then there’s “The Sunset Will Never Charm Us” which is your typical deathcore sounding track that is basically nothing more then a breakdown with more breakdowns in it that seriously lack the power that any others on the album have, as well as your standard off-the-wall hardcore-technical fret work. The rest of the release seems to follow this pattern, leaving “As Bridges Burn” a rather sporadic sounding track as it seems to jump in and out of the hardcore and death metal sound. At least “Harvesting The Deceased” makes good use of the complete one eighty of the band’s sound, aside the rather lame breakdown.

With the first half of the album being something really intense and fresh, and the latter half, excluding “End This Day” which, aside the rather lame breakdowns, is an equally intense song, being a lot like your typical death metal influenced hardcore release, The Healing Process definitely shows promise for the band. Even if you’re not a fan of the deathcore style, the first set of the tracks on here are at least worth sampling at some point. Hopefully the next album will provide more tracks like “Bulletproof Scales” and “Warm Blooded” instead of “As Bridges Burn”.

01. Bulletproof Scales – 3:21
02. Silver Plated Advocate – 4:00
03. Immaculate – 4:38
04. Warm Blooded – 3:34
05. Retina – 3:59
06. The Sunset Will Never Charm Us – 3:04
07. As Bridges Burn – 3:16
08. Harvesting The Deceased – 2:45
09. End This Day – 3:33
Overall Score: 5.5/10
Despised Icon (band)
Despised Icon
Physical review copy of this release provided by personal funds.