Artist: Dealey Plaza
Album: Provoke the Human – EP
Within each and every one of us, there exists something dark—an intangible, thriving seed of sinister darkness that grows within us from the very day we are thrust upon this spec of galactic dust. It doesn’t simply exist within us, however—it grows as we do. As our interpretations of society and our understanding of behaviors and mannerisms thrive and develop, this bitterness—a dark passenger—learns and develops as well, honing a sociopathic demeanor as subtle as a shadow and as sinfully sharp as the edge of a katana. This inner evil is what it means to truly be human; it is the id to our ego—our desire to do evil in an otherwise good world. More importantly, this darkness is the life force for the latest release from the furious Floridan deathcore act Dealey Plaza: Provoke the Human. Laden with lurid, lacerating riffs, raunchy, intense heaviness and among the most diverse vocal onslaughts deathcore has to offer, Provoke the Human does just that—it sparks the dormant, sleeping sociopath in the listener, creating a murderous maelstrom of malicious, masterfully executed heavy music.
Slowly, but with strong, calculated movements, the once-sleeping sickness of sinister, malicious malcontent awakens, sloughing off the dust and debris of kindness that had disguised it. Dealey Plaza are awake—and as sharp, loud and quick as a gunshot, Provoke the Human is upon the listener. In the mere minute it takes for “Sinister” to foreshadow the impending fury an chaos Dealey Plaza have in store for the listener, there is simply no hope that they can possibly be ready for the layers upon layers of instrumental fury that awaits—with the first thing that hits them being the opening riff to the blisteringly fast and voracious track “Mercy Killing.” Coming from the furious fretwork of Jesse Kirkbride, “Mercy Killing”—along with “Estranged (The Hanging)”—is home to contagiously catchy, yet sinfully skin-rending riffs that slice the listener’s flesh from the bone with incredible precision. The ease with which Kirkbride’s riffs and low-down-and-dirty grooves flay flesh from bone so markedly is due to, in part, the tenderizing effect the incessant pummeling from percussionist Ryley Dipoala renders. “Estranged (The Hanging),” as well as “Dementia Praecox” feature a cacophony of machine-gun blast beats and technically perfect fills that beat the listener into a pulpy mass of meat and blood instead of a walking, talking and functioning human being. Combined with the writhing, filthy grooves pouring forth from the frets of bassist Troy Sinatra, the percussion and bass work provides an anchor-like firmament of low, brooding dissonance that amplifies the resounding, skull-cracking chugs of the guitar and contrasts their corollary high-fretted and boisterous pinch-friendly riffs.
Once this brooding, evil juggernaut is up and chugging at full speed, it becomes clear that even as a perfectly synchronized trifecta of terrifyingly tight and technical instrumentation, Dealey Plaza have even more to offer the listener. This more manifests itself in the vocal diversity and lyrical intensity of vocalist Bryan Long. With shrieks that could crack glassware and growls that could shake California clean off of the West Coast. All the while, the lyrics are nothing short of the most misanthropic corners of the human psyche. Broadening his attack from governmental mistrust and aggression, Long finds himself lashing out at every detersive element of society—from snakes, liars and cheaters to, yes, politics and American culture. At the end of the day, the diversity and aggression of the lyrical content is rivaled only by the manner in which it is delivered. This is especially true of “Fiend,” a track which showcases every shriek and shout in Long’s arsenal, along with a marvelous guest appearance by Ryan Gardner of Rose Funeral; a name many enthusiasts of heavy music will surely revel in.
Once Provoke the Human is awakened and enraged, there is no stopping it. It is a no-holds-barred attack on society with razor sharp claws, boundless strength and every weapon the human mind can fathom. While “Mercy Killing” and “Fiend” find solace in a shreddy, skin-rending attack on the listener—favoring technicality over brute force—the closing portion to “Estranged (The Hanging)” and the entire duration of “Dementia Praecox” feature simply the heaviest and most belligerent breakdowns the genre has to offer. By the time the EP is done, the listener is left practically unable to listen—or even more accurately, unable to function. What was once a functioning, sentient member of a crooked and corrupt society is now a mass of flayed flesh and broken bone; skin sliced by Kirkbride’s furious fretwork and bones bashed to dust by Dipoala’s dense, untouchable percussion. What’s more is the thorough manner in which the listener is left completely oppressed by Long’s languishing vocal assault—in short, there is nothing “soft” or “ethereal” about Dealey Plaza’s Provoke the Human. It is relentless, from beginning to end.
Dealey Plaza are more than provoked. Rather, on Provoke the Human, they are pissed—a perfectly synchronized machine of musical dominance and oppression. Every track on this brief but brutalizing EP is designed to render the listener without hope for sanity or safety—rather, at the end of it all, Dealey Plaza offer only an experience as brief and piercing as a gunshot—with the same fatal effect.
For Fans Of: King Conquer, Beacons, The Last Ten Seconds of Life, Legion
By: Connor Welsh