December - The Lament Configuration
Earache Records
10 songs (36:05)
Release year: 2002
Earache Records
Reviewed by Khelek
Archive review

December is a metalcore band that formed in 1994 in the very early days of the style. They play a type of metalcore that is not heard much (or enough) today, a brutal mixture of death metal and hardcore influences without the need for incessant breakdowns. This is the second full-length album from the band, released in 2002 on Earache. While this is a decent album, it apparently was not good enough as the band split not long after its release.

The first track, Icenine, starts off with brutal guitars and vocals. I'm not sure how I feel about the screams and half-growls from vocalist Mark Moots. I think they definitely have emotion behind them, but they tend to overpower the other instruments in the mix. Waiting For Rain gets me interested in the guitar work on display here. The riffs come at you fast and heavy, though sometimes the amount of distortion on the guitars is annoying, but overall I think the song is good, it has a lot of energy and doesn't sound like something I've heard over and over again. The vocals again are somewhat overpowering but not as much as the first track. The drumming on this album is also pretty good. These guys know how to do metalcore without constant breakdowns, which is definitely a point in their favor. The problem is that the songs just aren't varied enough for me to tell them apart very well. I really like the intensity of The Sleeping Throne. The vocals of Moots are quite varied and I think he does a good job of conveying the feelings of rage in this song. The guitars and drums also work well together to create an atmosphere of brutality. This is the first song on the album I found myself unable to ignore. It's also longer than most on the album and kept my attention the whole time. I don't sense much lament on this album, but I do sense hostility. Play Dead also works in some more interesting guitar work with the intense vocals of Moots once again taking center stage. There is some breakdown-age throughout this quick song, but it's definitely acceptable and works quite well in my opinion.

December crafted a pretty decent, brutal metalcore album here. Unfortunately it tends to repeat itself a bit too much to be good for more than a few listens. It would be great if these guys could have worked some of the lament into their music, maybe some melody here and there along with some more technical guitar work. Their music has plenty of intensity and all the musicians are certainly proficient. With a bit more diversity in their song writing and playing, I'm sure the band could have produced an excellent album. Unfortunately they are now defunct, but for those of you who enjoy the older metalcore sound without loads of breakdowns, give this a shot if you can find it.

Killing Songs :
Waiting For Rain, The Sleeping Throne, Play Dead
Khelek quoted 68 / 100
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