Release length: 11:46
Well, if anything, Re-Evolve has a good production going for it considering this is an independent recording. The audio isn’t the most impressive, but it does manage to capture the bite well enough. The drums are crisp with a click to the bass kick that really stands out in a subtle, deeper manner, while the snares sound tight but can be a bit lost in the mix. The cymbals are as vibrant as the kicks are though, and in some cases really push the material forward more than if they were just a means to fill or cover the gaps. The guitars have some nice technical or Progressive touches to them here and there, an approach that finds a slightly cleaner distortion at work that still retains a nice heaviness. The bass does act more as support than anything, but does give it some edge considering the aforementioned sound of the electric guitars. Again, the vocals are the traditional shouting approach, but they do incorporate some gutturals here and there, as well as a higher rhasp, all of which seem to have an effect on them that seems as though it’s hiding, but still evident to anyone paying close enough attention.
Like mentioned, there’s a hefty Progressive push to some of the material, though that isn’t exactly how things start off. “Oscillate” has a simpler Metalcore structure with some nice hooks and a heavy focus on the cymbals. There’s a good deal of energy present, especially in the vocals that often hold the same note/lyric for a little while during the main verses. The chorus ushers in a little extra melody that stands out more than the somewhat basic main verses and the technical bridge that typically follows. Much of this applied to “Perfection Neutralized” as well, though it finds some more Progressive and atmospherically charged melodies thrown into the mix that helps to segregate it a bit towards a Between the Buried and Me or even Pelican stance. “Mechanical” carries a dismal tone to it with some more technical chords, again pushing the hooks further, but never remains consistant, sometimes barely staying on the same sound for ten seconds. It isn’t a bad song, and does feel like the progression from “Oscillate” has built a little more, but it’s the heavily atmospheric moments that are the most impressive, and they just seem way too limited with the distinctive The Black Dahlia Murder styled riffs taking up the most time. Once more, the breakdowns really hit the listener hard and stand out as one of the more impressive elements of this track, as well as the previous two.
Re-Evolve definitely sounds like a tighter recording, and even a more matured one. It’s clear that Despite Exile is honing in on a more Progressive approach to the material, which was apparent the first time around as well. However, there’s just too much going on in these three songs to make it all seem worthwhile. It’s obvious that each song is meant to build up from what the last one introduced, but the technicality, as well as constant shifts that appear later, can feel a little forced due to how short this recording is, leaving very little room to fully pan out the ideas. Instead, many of the typical Metalcore and Deathcore styles, as well as the breakdowns, really stand out the most as far as consistancy is concerned, though all the atmospheric and melodic passages can instantly grab your attention. Re-Evolve is still a solid EP, but definitely one that feels like a bridge between what debuted on Scarlet Reverie, and the potential future sound of Despite Exile, leading to an effort full of potential, but unfortunately not fully recognized.
01. Oscillate – 4:26
02. Perfection Neutralized – 3:13
03. Mechanical – 4:08
|Overall Score: 7/10
Digital review copy of this release provided by Despite Exile via Team All About the Music.