Album Review: BRAND OF SACRIFICE - Lifeblood
Artist: Brand Of Sacrifice
Review by Steve Jenkins
Before listening to Brand Of Sacrifice, I thought I already had a fairly good idea of what deathcore is, and apparently I was wrong. The absolutely catastrophic amount of destruction these guys pack into their well crafted music is fucking disgusting and unbelievably heavy and I love it.
What we have here on the bands second full-length album, Lifeblood, is modern deathcore featuring squawky guitar effects, cinematic symphonic and choral elements, and some eclectic electronic nuttery. The songs are as a general rule a little low on compositional interest, relying on repetitive chord progressions, open note-rooted riffs, monochromatic breakdowns and slams, simple melodic lines, and somewhat predictable song structures – but every moment is rendered with stunningly tight, devastatingly heavy musicianship, and features multiple dimensions of sonic interest.
The primary dimension of interest for these songs, as in Brand of Sacrifice’s earlier material, is their rhythmic complexity and textural richness. The way the digitized percussion, arpeggiating electronics, sampled orchestral stabs, masterfully performed and wildly syncopated drums, and ever-churning, sliding, squealing, serpentine guitar parts all interplay with one another is pretty incredible, and (I would say) even more deftly executed than on their earlier material this time around. There is a lot to take in here, and a lot to enjoy.
My one gripe is essentially the same major complaint I had with their debut full-length, God Hand; the mastering. It’s very compressed, very saturated, and has quite a narrow range of dynamics. As a result, individual sonic elements (most often the rhythm guitar, unfortunately) tend to lose attack & detail and float in and out of audibility, and the songs don’t always feel quite as punchy and powerful as I feel they could. I’d love to hear them rendered with a little more clarity and breathing room.
With all that aside, this album absolutely slaps. It's easily Brand of Sacrifice’s best effort to date and a definite improvement on their formula, it's also just a bunch of fun listening the whole way through. Definitely give it a spin if you’re a fan of this style of deathcore. Lifeblood is epic and masterful, hands down the best deathcore you'll hear this year! The bar has been raised.
8.5 out of 10
Lifeblood is out now - Purchase via Bandcamp HERE