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As They Sleep - Dynasty

As They Sleep
by Maria Voutiriadou at 19 December 2010, 2:12 AM

When I discovered that Michigan’s melodic Deathcore act AS THEY SLEEP did a cover on Johnny Cash’s “I Walk The Line” (also available for free download on their MySpace page), I was pretty curious to make a sedulous research on them, but unfortunately MySpace didn’t make my favor because of its lately slow speed, making it impossible for me to listening to it. Thanks to Solid State Records, I got the promo of their second effort “Dynasty” and I have to admit that the entire ‘empires-rise-and-fall’ concept album’s theme made me giving them a chance, even though Deathcore is not really my cup of tea.

Fortunately, the AT THE GATES influences are obvious, a fact that drew my attention even more. I don’t know if this result has to do with Jason Suecoff (ALL THAT REMAINS, DEVILDRIVER, DEMON HUNTER) on mixing or these guys’ love for death Metal, the sound and the whole atmosphere that “Dynasty” creates though, is so thick and solid that can’t leave you uninfluenced. The opening “Oracle Of The Dead” is just a small sample of what AS THEY SLEEP are able to do with Aaron Bridgewater’s rough vocals, interspersed with painful screams, while the guitarist twin, Nick Morris and Barry Gomez throw out riff after riff, with power chords and technical but chaotic moments. The following “To The Republic” and “The Third Reich” seems to step on stably the well-played death Metal recipe with all these unstoppable alternate riffing and the zillion spitted melodies. Tracks like “The Darkest Ages” and “Poseidon” hold the band’s speed riffing in high levels and the coming-up groove defies competition in the category of the brand new-comers’ bands, like they’ve found the golden mean between DEVILDRIVER and ROTTING CHRIST.

The only unhappy coincidence lies on the instrumental “Ritual” that is a short atmospheric interlude, copy/pasting DANZIG’s “How The Gods Kill” trademark riff and I still can not understand the reason; which inner need of AS THEY SLEEP serves this one. Well, “God Of War” and “The Unseen” that close the album are another one sample of the band’s composing expertise and the ‘repeat’ button seems to be the only salvation for every damned and devouring Deathcore soul, having on top Bridgewater’s lungs and the guitars’ speed melodies.

What’s the novelty for AS THEY SLEEP after all? I mean, nowadays there are tons of Deathcore bands out there, especially from the far bank of the Atlantic that deluge the metalheads with countless riffs and growling and nothing more than that. Well, I don’t know if I had a satisfying answer on that, but these guys seems to have the hack value, the necessary technique and lots of inspiration inside “Dynasty” (the title is so well-timed too) that they won’t let you down.

Highlights: “To The Republic”, “The Third Reich”, “The Darkest Ages”, “Poseidon”

3 Star Rating

Oracle Of The Dead
To The Republic
The Third Reich
Bedlam At The Nile
The Darkest Ages
The Offering
God Of War
The Unseen
Aaron Bridgewater - Vocals
Nick Morris - Guitar
Barry Gomez - Guitar
Derek Kosiba - Bass
Tony Lukitsh – Drums
Record Label: Solid State Records


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