I Declare War:
Sticking to a strict philosophy of relentless breakdowns, unmitigated two-steps, and intricate guitar riffs, I Declare War have turned more than just a few heads. Formed around Northwest Washington in early 2005, I Declare War has the determination and ferocity to be among the long list of well-known Seattle-based bands. The recent line up changes has scarcely slowed I Declare War down and has not affected the integrity and perseverance that the band has in order to make their way to the top. In the begging of January 2007 I Declare War caught the eye of Compton Records who added them to the label to release their full length CD “Amidst the Bloodshed”.
Outburn Magazine gives I Declare War an 8 out of 10.
Metalreview.com on I Declare War
If you hate modern deathcore and breakdowns look away. On the other hand, if you enjoy this stuff, prepare to have your ass handed to you by arguably the heaviest album I have heard in the last few years.
In an era where bands like The Acacia Strain and Emmure have claimed to have the 'heaviest' or most 'brutal' albums of their respective years, and even recent deathcore heavyweights like Whitechapel and Suicide Silence have delivered pretty punishing, high profile slabs of the genre, along come Seattle's newcomers I Declare War and wipes the floor with all of them in one surprising, obscure but fucking devastating swoop.
Folks, if this isn't the heaviest deathcore album you've ever heard, I'll review every emo album Victory records puts out for the rest of the year.
First off, the vocals: Jon Huber has one of the deepest, monstrous, cavernous growls I've heard, being far more in line with grindcore a la The Day Everything Became Nothing as opposed to the alternate squeal/grunts that most of the genre uses. It sounds like King Kong was the singer. Second, the production, while not perfect, simply highlights the many, many utterly punishing breakdowns. And guys, that's what the genre is about, and this album has them in fucking spades. Sure, you've heard heavy breakdowns before, but there's just 'something' about these that make my speakers beg for mercy (I actually blew out a speaker in a State car while working). Each track has some sort of resonating, bass drop filled sickness that will shake your very being.
From the opening salvo of the introductory title track featuring just a sick opening roar from Huber, I Declare War rumble and lope through 11 fairly straightforward and admittedly genre restrained slabs of deathcore. Trust me, it's not even remotely original, though to the band's credit, they avoid the inter breakdown moments of pseudo grinding chaos in favor of a more lucid, melodic form of All Shall Perish styled mayhem. Granted, its not nearly as tight, and the drumming is a bit rough as the band speeds up, but it's more than made up for by the knee wilting breakdowns that filled tracks like "Fuck Your Claim", "Through the Eyes of a Killer", "Asphyxiation" (a real speaker killer), "God Has No Place Within These Walls", "As They Burn Alive", "Destroy the Weak" and the surprisingly harmonious "Now You're Going to be Famous". However, the short chaotic grind of "Frosted or Not (I Don't Care)" and the needless 11 minutes of silence that close out closer "Nword Ydoc" and subsequent in studio 'hilarity' are blemishers on an other wise perfect record.
Don't let my lowish scores sway you, I'll this isn't especially as tightly played, ultra polished as some of their peers and it isn't even remotely original, but as far as sheer chest crushing, neck snapping, heft, Amidst the Bloodshed is getting repeated spins and will more than likely flirt with my end of year list based on heaviness alone. Your stereo will never forgive you.
There are bigger names releasing higher profile deathcore albums this year but I almost guarantee you there are none heavier than Amidst the Bloodshed.