Album: Deadworld [EP]
Imagine a mass grave—but not the kind you’ve seen on the news or read about in books and news articles. Imagine a planet—perhaps the moon—where the only reason the living set foot on its barren surface is to drop off delivery after delivery of deceased men, women and children. This grave is not a pit, it is a planet—an entire world of decay, rot and disgust. Now imagine how that planet smells, imagine the eerie feeling of being the only living soul on a sullen rock inhabited by the dead, imagine what it sounds like, alone—save the shadow of death watching your every move. That sound is the echo of Hell’s ever-churning gears and cogs; the debut EP by the nightmare-inducing New Jersey downtempo deathcore act Deadworld. The aptly named trio are terror incarnate—riveting, raunchy heaviness combined with cataclysmic moments of crushing, slam-tinted energy and awe-inspiring atmosphere and evil. Every second of Deadworld’s self-titled release is an inch of skin peeled slowly from the listener, leaving them barren and bleeding to death by the time these titans of tremendous hatred are done.
The crackle of rickety, splintering bones. The buzz of flies feasting on rotting flesh. This is the morbid mastery of Deadworld’s devastating instrumentation. Roaring drums oscillate between moments of languishing speed—a la “Astaroth”—and looming displays of deep, destructive resonance: best heard at the climax of “Black Swan.” Deadworld’s percussion is the backbone to the band’s dreadnaut of disastrously heavy deathcore. While the percussion is lacerating, bassist Pete Buckley keeps up effortlessly, gliding along with grisly, thick grooves that smack the listener’s temple like a ballpeen hammer. Other times—like “Extremist”—where the percussion’s tempo dips into what feels like single digits, Buckley adds even more beef to the booming, explosive kick drum and colorfully contrasts the cracking snap of the snare drum. During every breakdown—from minor tremor to earthshaking display of energetic ruthlessness—Buckley’s bass always serves as a gutwrenching firmament for guitarist Jack Di Muro to feed off of and build upon. Di Muro’s fretwork is simply furious. “Astaroth” is home to riff-tinted grooves that almost provide a Boris the Blade-esque feeling, while “Disgust” is just that—disgusting—laden with low-down-and-dirty chugs filthy enough to make mud look like soap. “Black Swan” sees Di Muro adding devious splashes of ethereal atmosphere to Deadworld’s dynamic—a brilliant tactic that somehow lets the heaviest aspects of the band’s self-titled release hit even harder.
Surrounded by bodies—the bones and blistered flesh of those who should have been given a proper burial—you lose your mind and let loose with a visceral, gritty howl. The voice that erupts from your throat and skins your ears isn’t yours—it’s the voice of Emilio Alarcon. Alarcon is incredible—every bit the plague-bearing voice of filth and impurity that Deadworld deserve. Alarcon’s vocals are low, grimy and intense, attacking the listener with lows on “Disgust” that will make their bowels shake, and berating them with gritty mid-range shouts on “Black Swan” that will crack the listener’s skull like a sledgehammer smacking an egg. Alarcon’s vocal prowess may be relatively one-sided, favoring low, meaty bellows over screams and shrieks—but listen to the canvas it paints upon. Deadworld’s instrumentation is a lesson in lurid, pitch-black darkness—shrieks and colorful cries are not fitting for the voice of the rotted monster that is Deadworld. Rather, gurgles and grisly growls reign supreme—all pouring from the mind and mouth of Alarcon and his twisted psyche.
You’re beginning to get the picture; Deadworld is dark, demented and destructive. To listen to this New Jersey juggernaut is to hear pure terror being poured into your head by the gallon. From the beginning of “Disgust,” Deadworld latch hooks in the listener’s ears and pry them wide open, just to slither inside and infect their mind. “Extremist” is a straightforward lesson in hardcore-tinted, beatdown, drag-out and downtempo deathcore—a display of all things heavy. However, it doesn’t get better than “Black Swan,” a combination of all the things that influence Deadworld—dashes of technicality and atmosphere—enabling them to truly let loose on the listener with every ounce of their collective being. If Deadworld doesn’t kill you, they will make you wish they had.
Misanthropy most pure and foul, Deadworld are the soundtrack to mass murder. They are the echoes of entire planetary collapse. They are one of the heaviest bands to emerge from a scene that prides itself on pointless heaviness—making them a band you would do well to familiarize yourself with immediately.
For Fans Of: Traitors, Bodysnatcher, Falsifier, Boris the Blade
By: Connor Welsh