The Red Shore - Unconsecrated
Siege Of Amida
10 songs (33:51)
Release year: 2008
Siege Of Amida
Reviewed by James
Surprise of the month

Deathcore is nothing less than reviled by purists these days, no doubt for fusing their beloved death metal with that scourge of the metal landscape, metalcore. The embarrassing forays into the genre by previous death metal bastions Cryptopsy and Kataklysm, not to mention the befringed , skinny T-shirt wearing likes of Bring Me The Horizon (who get a shout out in the booklet of Unconsecrated, worryingly). Personally, I can't see what the fuss is about, it's still more extreme than most music out there, and if it gets kids into the likes of Morbid Angel and Immolation I think it's very much a good thing. Australians The Red Shore do the whole deathcore thing better than most, as unlike many of their contemporaries, they actually have balls. Every song on here blasts, growls and grooves like it should, with more than a bit of technical showboating that sort of recalls Between The Buried And Me at their most aggressive. It would be nice to see them take things into a more progressive realm as that aforementioned band did, mind. The songs here all stay in the same face-smashing gear throughout, with nothing really in the way of melody or mellow respites. Of course, if you're going to make an album dedicated entirely to beating the listener to a bloody pulp, you'd better keep it short and punchy. Which The Red Shore do, Unconsecrated sticking around for little over half an hour, with only one song straying over five minutes. The record also pulls the clever trick of placing melodic instrumental Nephilim and standout track Vehemence The Phoenix at the end, just as the listener may well be start in to flag.

Unconsecrated, then, is brilliant as long as you don't listen too closely. Upon too close inspection, flaws begin to reveal themselves like old wounds reopening. As with many bands in their genre, there's an over-reliance on breakdowns here which can seem to serve as a musical crutch at times. Admittedly, they're not as slavish to the crunch-squeal riffing as say, Bring Me The Horizon, but it's there nonetheless, and it's impact becomes less ever time it's used. There's also a slightly nondescript quality to most of the tracks here, with most listeners I'm sure being hard pressed to identify individual songs. Matters aren't helped by the less than stellar production job, which mashes all the instruments together into an amorphous blob at times.

But Unconsecrated has enough quality to it for us to excuse it's flaws, and as a brief blast of brutality you could do far worse. It leans far more towards the likes of Suffocation than most of their peers, with a fair shot of old-school death metal riffing in the mix. And when the band get a little braver they can be quite special, as the brief flourishes on Rise And Fall show. The vocals are also more tolerable than most in the genre, with none of those damned pig squeals everyone complains about. The Red Shore are a young band, with plenty of time to get braver and spread their wings (if you read further into their tragic history, with their previous singer killed in a bus crash, it's a wonder they made this record at all), with a strong debut under their belts. Let's hope they use this as a foundation to do something really special.

Killing Songs :
The Garden Of Impurity, Rise And Fall, Vehemence The Phoenix
James quoted 77 / 100
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