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Royal Deceit - Animus

Royal Deceit
by Justin "Witty City' Wittenmeier at 01 March 2020, 7:37 AM

ROYAL DECEIT is a Metalcore band from Denmark.  There are some very immediate pacing issues with their latest album, “Animus.”  The album opens with the intro “History Repeats,” and, strangely, the next song, “End of Days,” is just about the same length.  Despite its short length, I think it is to be treated as an actual and not an intro.  However, considering “History Repeats,” is just a minute or so of noise that doesn’t seem to serve any real purpose, I think the album would had a better start with “End of Days,” being the intro.  As it stands, two short song in a row kills the pacing for me.

Bite The Curb,” is the first track that sounds like a fully realized song to me.  It opens with riffs that tread the line between Metal and hardcore breakdowns, something that shouldn’t come as a surprise considering their genre.  Often times the guitars have a dissonant or Djent feel but other times they are just very basic.  “Bite The Curb,” features both of these aspects but I enjoyed the melodic, clean passage as it injected a curve ball and variety.

Unfortunately, the clean vocals ruin the track, as they do most of the album.  Mathias is a well-rounded vocalist in terms of the types of styles and sounds he can make come out of this mouth, but the results of his talent vary greatly.  His harsh vocals, while nothing special, are solid and get the job done.  However, his clean vocal delivery is just too poppy, whiny, and out of place for me.  Clean vocals are, of course, nothing new to Metalcore or Metal in general really.  But when he begins to scream, I can’t help but think of the countless pop stars I hear that don’t bring any real power to the songs.  It is a shame his cleans are so bad though because many of the songs are catchy as hell.

Elitist,” is a shining example where if the cleans were a bit more focused or restrained, the song would be in my head for days.  The rhythm, especially the drums, is tight as hell and the song rocks pretty hard with some varied riffs. The odd vocal approach isn’t always the only thing ruining the songs.  Musically the band is very talented but fall into genre tropes too easily. “Chasing Ghosts,” is a groove machine in the beginning but by the end the song devolves into basic Metalcore complete with gang vocals.   The bass doesn’t standout at all during any point within the album—it is buried under the guitars and vocals which are way too loud in the mix.

Pariah,” had a lot of potential—the guitars have a nice balanced melody that you would find with MDM bands but, again, those clean vocals just made me cringe through most of it.  I would like this album a lot more if he sang with his rough style or if he sounded a lot less whiny. “Echoes of Hate,” finishes the album off strong—it is no coincidence that the clean vocals are the best on the album either.  This track is a strong example of the type of songs the band are great at:  straddling Metal and Hardcore sounds with simple but serviceable riffs, catchy songs and memorable vocal lines.

Ultimately, this isn’t a terrible album by any means, but the clean vocals and sometimes bland musical performances keep it from rising above in a very crowded sea.

Songwriting: 4
Musicianship: 4
Memorability: 4
Production: 4

2 Star Rating

1. History Repeats
2. End of Days
3. Bite The Curb
4. Just Business
5. Elitist
6. Chasing Ghosts
7. Pariah
8. Backstabber
9. Hang Them High
10. Oceans of Black
11. Echoes of Hate
Mathias Ronde Uldall-Jessen - Vocals
Jesper Malmsio Larsen – Guitar
Alexander Jacobsen – Guitar
Andreas Harder Laursen – Bass
Simon Drachmann – Drums
Record Label: Prime Collective


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