Despite Exile: Scarlet Reverie

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Despite Exile: Scarlet Reverie
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Despite Exile: Scarlet Reverie
Deathcore, Metalcore
Self-release
2011
Release length: 21:49
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Despite Exile is an Italian Metalcore/Deathcore act that formed back in 2010. Roughly a year later, the group issued their debut recording, a six song EP entitled Scarlet Reverie. The release comes in at just under twenty three minutes total, and really makes one wonder how much of an influence one style has over the other in their material. With the band now backed with promotional support from Team All About the Music, it’s only a matter of time before this group’s popularity starts to grow from it’s current underground nature. But, does this band really deserve such praise on this outing, or is this an independent debut outing that suffers from the typical faults one tends to see too much?

Well, there is one issue that plagues this release a bit, but it’s not even that big a problem in the long run. Of course, this stems from the audio quality. Overall there’s nothing too wrong with it, clearly having a bit of a rawer touch to it that probably came from not having enough funds to make a top-notch recording, but overall everything sounds pretty strong. The guitars have a decent heaviness to them that is aided by the bass that, while not too deep, does manage to give the music a good edge. The drums are pretty clear as well with a strong cymbal presence that backs up the loud click of the bass kicks with some looser sounding snares that are a bit lower in volume compared to the rest of the kit. All of this does seem to have a lighter, misty audio sound to it that kind of holds back the heavier potential of the release, but the material itself is good enough to overcome this issue. Vocally, however, the volume levels could have been a little louder. Many of the songs end up finding the screaming performance a little lower then they should be, leading to moments where they can be drowned out by the rest of the instruments, but the gutturals that do appear are moreso lost at times. It seems that some tracks also have different levels to them with these, such as “Scarlet Reverie” not coming through as loudly as the vocals in “Stand Alone.” But, if you turn the volume up loud enough, luckily not to the point where everything becomes obnoxious, this doesn’t really become much of a problem.

And honestly, Scarlet Reverie is a solid enough release that you’re going to want to turn it up. The band’s mixture of a strong Metalcore foundation with some Deathcore influence is a far better approach then many of today’s simple chugging Deathcore groups, and it leads to really addicting tracks as well. “Scarlet Reverie” starts things off with an audio sample and distorted music before it all starts hammering away with some catchy Metalcore material. The screaming vocals give way to more gutturals in this performance then others, but the song’s catchy material is enough to grab the listener’s attention at any time. Even the breakdowns stand out well in here, feeling natural to the flow of the music, never interrupting the song and even feeling like a welcome addition to those against this in the Deathcore style due to the use of more then one chord.

But the mixture of the two styles comes through much strong on “Kawabonga,” a much harder and heavier track that fixates more on Deathcore fueled riffs with a faster pace and intensity behind them. Some of the more melodic Metalcore-style material does seep in at times to again hook the listener. However, unlike the previous track, the breakdown here does cause a pause to the music that one could argue interrupts the songs, but the natural build up from there back into it, as well as the timing of the drop at the start all work well to make it feel like it fits. This one even has a good deal of intensity behind it despite the feeling of a more traditional Suicide Silence-esque sound, causing it to jump out at the listener through the entire progression into the next passage. But the next song to really pack a kick to it is “Aftermath.” This song does feel a little more along the traditional Metalcore vein, but the additional Deathcore influences and intensity, along with some rather emotion-driven moments in the guitar hooks and even in the vocals really make the song sound a lot stronger despite any issues you may have with the track.

That’s not to say the rest of Scarlet Reverie is bad, or doesn’t pack any kind of impact. It’s almost impossible to walk away from this EP and have anything bad to say about it. Aside the vocal levels, the breakdowns sometimes can feel a little bland, but even that’s very rare here. There’s also a great deal of tracks and moments where your head will genuinely bang along and you even get a good surge of energy from the highly enthusiastic performances found from start to finish. Despite Exile is a little known band right now, but if this release is a sign of what’s to come from this group, then the band really won’t be in the shadows of the underground for too long. If you haven’t heard of this release until now, or just put off checking the band out, you should really give them a listen if the Metalcore or Deathcore styles are ones you enjoy, and it should be done the next chance you get. Scarlet Reverie is a release that simply will not disappoint.

01. Scarlet Reverie – 3:30
02. Kawabonga – 3:12
03. Stand Alone – 3:13
04. Aftermath – 4:13
05. Pure Crimson – 4:03
06. Unanswered – 3:38
Overall Score: 9.5/10


Digital review copy of this release provided by Despite Exile via Team All About the Music.