Sunday, 2 September 2012

Review: Excellent Cadaver - Faith Destroyed

 So, I spent the past four days in my mile-a-minute style life (Probably the best joke I've ever written) to travel down to England, spend some time in Manchester, Birmingham and Stratford before visiting a family wedding in the Lake District. It was a cool time and apparently at the end of the wedding night, I approached the hotel bar in a drunken state and thanked the staff for serving underage me. What does this have to do with my musical enrichment? Absolutely nothing. But going there meant I missed a gig at the Beat Generator in Dundee for local metalcore champs Excellent Cadaver that celebrated the launch of their highly anticipated debut full-length Faith Destroyed. Having listened to the album, I realise just how miserable I would have been if I hadn't been served any drink.

 Y'see, I've known for some months now that Excellent Cadaver are going to go on to achieve big things after possessing a album sampler containing various demos for Faith Destroyed after seeing them at the Beat Generator in March when they served as the opening act for a show headlined by the mighty Chimaira, and even with the incredibly rough production on those songs they were as hard hitting as the band intended them to be and naturally with sharpened production, improvement on songs and appearances from some new friends of the world of metal, it hits harder than ever before.

 On a general view, Faith Destroyed sounds like an untamed beast unleashed within the streets of Dundee, possibly reveling in despair following it's journeys through Fintry and the Hilltown. Hahaha! Local jokes! I don't even live in Dundee! This rabid insanity is often delivered throughout the album by the slamming shredding and beatdowns from Drew Cochrane and Paul Hudson that fill the delirious opener My Own Addiction and We Are Reborn with so much intensity and metallic grit. And with the production still obtaining a classic roughness, the band display influences from such classic bands turned more brutal, with Polarised sounding reminiscent in it's intro to Anthrax at their most furious.

There's a wider pallet influences shown across the album from the rapid Another Action Plan sounding like a Dundonian Comeback Kid and the subtle influence of 1980's rock balladry that goes into the romantically tragic The Final Cutscene that really becomes the band's own inspired work that spirals away from such a rock ballad influence. (I hate a lot of 1980's rock ballads. I hate them all, actually.)

 With all this musical intensity, the band are finely fronted by the delirium of frontman Andrew Downie that packs a lot of energy and emotion into all he does. Projecting intense screams that sound reminiscent to The Black Dahlia Murder's Trevor Strnad, and a highly local sounding set of melodic vocals, he gives a perfect sense of deathly gloom and violent despair to the entire album in the most ferocious and wild manners.It's the loose wildness of Downie's performance that makes these songs but we are brought down to earth at various points by the more meaty guest performances from Chimaira's Mark Hunter and Matt Szlachta on Dissention and the storming title track, a result of hanging around after the Beat Generator show, as well as having the insanity turned up somewhat by the appearance of Dirge Within's Chuck Wepfer on The Rise and Fall.

 With all this, Excellent Cadaver create a sharp debut of metalcore done as it should be on Faith Destroyed. There exists a constant amount of sludgy doom and brutality, the guitar work is constantly impressive and constantly driven by a murderous brutality and are fronted by a mad Dundonian. Why has there never been an album comprising of these three components before. It's the undeniable basis for a show as epic as the show I missed last night and shows the early signs of a new band that can follow in the big leagues. And with this, Dundee finally boasts a band with musical as grim as the city itself. As grim and as brilliant.

Excellent Cadaver's Faith Destroyed is out now via Self Release.

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