Artist: Within Destruction
Album: D E A T H W I S H
Balance is a precarious thing by nature—in what it is, how its executed and the risks of what might happen should it be swayed too far in either direction. This is made even more terrifying when you consider the following: the world is in a constant state of precious, tedious balance—wherein one push too hard in either direction might send it spiraling out of control.
So what does slamming deathcore outfit Within Destruction do?
The grab a sledge, wind up real tight and take a swing at the whole damn globe, Sammy Sosa style, and knock the globe off its axis with their sophomore full-length release, Deathwish.
Well over half an hour of unapologetic, unabashed brutality, Deathwish takes Within Destruction’s tongue-in-cheek approach at slam-infused, traditionally-influenced deathcore and steps it up one-hundred fold, bringing the listener an eerie, aggressive, brooding and—of course—brutalizing album that starts off hectic and only gets more intense as the minutes add up. Insane percussion, scathing leads that segue into spine-shrinking breakdowns and skin-peeling slams with a vocal performance that approaches a level of unmatched prowess, Within Destruction prove that their debut slam-dunk, Void, wasn’t just beginners luck, and instead, the first step in what’s shaping up to be an immense, immolating journey of ungodly heaviness.
2018—and likely the couple of years prior—have proven to be hotbeds of debate regarding genres, and few have become a battleground for elitists and keyboard warriors both like slam has. Whether it’s slamming brutal death metal, slamming deathcore, just “slam”—whatever you want to call it—there’s no doubt that the blend of brutality that Within Destruction bring to the table is absolutely immolating. Combining the heavily-slam influenced styles of traditional deathcore with a more contemporary penchant for sharp production, oscillating speed and break-neck intensity, Deathwish is a new record that uses some old twists to keep old-heads of the heavy music community amused and intrigued. It boils down—in great part—to the work of percussionist Luke Vezzosi, who, while not the only immensely talented instrumentalist Within Destruction has to offer, is definitely one with the broadest and most instantaneous appeal. Whether it’s the quirky, out-of-left-field fills, the mind-numbing, paralyzing speed or the tedious blend between the two that makes songs like “Human Defect” or “D E A T H W I S H” so damn good, there’s no denying his skill. Recently expanding into the ranks of global “supergroup” Hollow Prophet, as well as infinitely refining his skill for Deathwish relative to his work on Void, Vezzosi gives the band a stellar foundation to work from—which is exactly what they do. Guitarists Damir Juretic and Kristjan Bajuk—balanced by bassist Janez Skumavc—wreak havoc on every second of Deathwish. One excellent instance of this is “False Revelation,” wherein the band seamlessly weave bone-splitting, spine-shredding heaviness with flaying, furiously-fretted riff-work. The same can be said for “Darkness Swallows Life,” or, honestly just about every song Deathwish holds within its lofty 40-ish minute runtime. Juretic and Bajuk are brilliant at birthing bone-busting heaviness from the tips of their fingers, true enough, but they’re also gifted in the way of the riff, adding metallic leads and catchy grooves in between the lurid slams and loathsome breakdowns on “Human Defect,” et al. Where Juretic and Bajuk roam, Skumavc is never far behind, adding weight, density and punch to every chug, riff and note the duo lay down.
Deathwish is an instrumental lesson in intensity—but the lecture doesn’t end there. Frontman Rok Rupnik delivers Slav after slab of skin-peeling, flesh-melting insanity on just about every song Within Destruction provide. From first real track of the record—“D E A T H W I S H”—through anthemic cuts “Torture Ritual” and “Downfall Of Humanity,” Rupnik’s range is as impressive as his candor, patterning and endurance. Even with the addition of several excellent guest appearances (Vulvodynia’s Duncan Bentley and Infant Annihilator’s Dickie Allen come to mind), Rupnik stands proudly on his own, with the guest appearances serving more as an added bonus than a necessary crutch for diversity. Rupnik leaves no stone unturned when it comes to establishing his vocal dominion. While his lyricism is conceptual and borders on “cliché” at points, the overall atmosphere of the album is superb, hitting on fun, kinda-campy themes alongside some of the genre’s standard fare. Within Destruction—while proving Rupnik’s excellence on Void aptly enough—highlight Rupnik’s growth and diversity even further with each and every minute Deathwish wages war on the listener’s Head.
Deathwish has been a long time coming—and after years of wondering what sort of monster could fill Void’s footsteps, we finally have our answer. Within Destruction have outdone themselves in every sense of the word, boasting brutality alongside brilliant and adventurous songwriting while still stopping to cash in on a few fun gimmicks along the way. On top of it all, they hold another one of heavy music’s notable up-and-coming voices—with a range that demands respect and endurance that does even more so. Whether you’re in it for a blistering, wild-ride-of-a-record or just something fun and fucking pissed, Deathwish is absolutely the record for you.
For Fans Of: Slaughter to Prevail, Oceano, Sectioned UK, Ingested, Vulvodynia
By: Connor Welsh