In Dying Arms‘ brand new self-titled album has me split right down the middle. One half says this is a pretty damn good album that covers a broad area of core music, and the other half says that they have some laughable generic moments that left me wondering if they take themselves seriously.
The first song, “Murder I Wrote,” is clear evidence right away. The indecipherable rawr rawr’s are quite funny, the high screeches are borderline good, but the singing is purely awesome. It’s got some brutal deathcore breakdowns, but with weak deathcore verses that lead into a complete 180 with the post-hardcore chorus. At another point they combine the clean and low screaming over music that blends both styles.
Having never heard this band before, that post-hardcore influence threw me for a loop. The track has a bit of a classic The Acacia Strain feel to it in the beginning. Throwing heavy drop D breakdowns and linking with heavy metalcore verses provide the stage for an epic singing chorus that stands out on its own among other post-hardcore bands of today.
Easily the best musical section of the album is on the song “Delusions.” It builds off of a really soft and mellow guitar playing with subtle drums, then some of the best brutal breakdowns I’ve heard all year. Bass heavy is how I like it. These guys may get crap for not being more exploratory in the guitar playing, but in this case minimizing it can be a good thing. At the 3:55 mark, they bring the pain to the pit with menacing vocals coupled with the same breakdowns as before. Could have done without the low singing going out on an electronic style as they’re very cliché, but it’s forgivable. The actual singing is very mellow and calming, which again seems out of place.
For essentially a straight post-hardcore track, check out “Heroes Of June.” It starts with a soft background-placed guitar, then high-pitched guitars over standard screaming sets you up for the singing parts. Though at this point I started to notice that as soon as they end the singing, the brutal deathcore lows kick in without the mid-range screaming. They try to use this shock value over and over but after a while you start to notice it.
Then “Famous Last Words” bitch-slaps you with a metalcore sound that is largely missing from the rest of the album along with heart-stopping breakdowns. They use a more ominous post-hardcore type of music in the chorus with no clean singing at all, until the 2:15 mark. To give the listener a break from this tired shock value, I think they should have left it as a regular deathcore song.
I can’t really say too much about the deathcore sections, other than they’re mostly generic while throwing in something new every once in a while. This is admirable however, because it proves that if you think you can’t stand out in one genre, then combine a few and create something no one has heard before. If anyone is aware of more deathcore/post-hardcore bands, let me know cause I’ve never heard of this.