REVIEW: Death Comes Home – Reinvent [2017]

Artist: Death Comes Home 

Album: Reinvent

 

With a name like Death Comes Home, you’re likely expecting a raunchy, gritty and depressive display of downtuned brutality—maybe something along the lines of deathcore juggernauts Oceano, or nu-metal infused metalcore titans Sworn In? I know I was—I expected something dark and filled with bleak, oppressive despair. However, with the aptly named Reinvent, that isn’t what I got—at least not entirely. Death Comes Home do indeed have moments of eviscerating aggression and relentless heaviness; I am definitely not trying to take that away from them—however, they also have an heir of entrancing, energetic fervor about them; a positive and blissful message of redemption and, indeed, reinvention, surrounding their sinister power. Death Comes Home are a diverse band, is what I’m saying, with a takeaway point that blends the likes of Silent Planet and Dayseeker with Architects and mid-2000s Parkway Drive. Reinvent is an amalgamation of anger and awe-inspiring beauty that is sure to catch fans of progressive metalcore and quick, jarring deathcore both off guard.

From Puerto Rico of all places, Death Comes Home take elements of heavy-handed metal-and-deathcore and infuse them with progressively-inclined atmosphere enough to make the listener do a double take. Percussionist Raphiel Hernandez kicks off “Remembrance,” and indeed Reinvent as a whole with a peppy, speedy pattern that stutters into a choppy breakdown before decaying into a thoroughly crushing cavalcade of dissonant aggression—aided by the low, earth-rumbling chugs from guitarists Eloy Otero and Carlos Rosa. Hernandez’s work is the full-steam-ahead heartbeat of the band, pushing through the catchy bridges of “Remembrance” and the driving, atmospheric aspects of “Sun and Shade” and “Continuance” to deliver a foundation for the total fury found within every song’s climactic breakdown. When it comes to forming a sturdy and solid foundation, Hernandez definitely isn’t alone; bassist Roberto Santiago is right there at his side, adding thickness to the peppier parts of “Dust and Ashes,” as well as sludgy, resonating rumble to the jaw-dropping breakdowns within “Remembrance” and “Death Season.” But even in spite of the duo’s excellent interplay, the real draw of the band’s instrumentation comes from Otero and Rosa’s fingertips, dancing deviously across the fretboard to create stunning, cyclic leads (“Dust and Ashes”) and gruesome, groovy power (“The Sleepwalker”). It is because of Otero and Rosa that Death Comes Home hit their heaviest and most ethereal extremes, drawing influence from mesmerizing post-rock and post-metal on “Escape Route,” yet annihilating expectations of subtlety on “Remembrance.”

Death Comes Home continue their diversity when it comes to their vocal element, albeit in a slightly more limited way. Combining harsh, hellIsh roars and belted, pitched yells with softer, crooned cleanly sung vocals, frontman Emmanuel Calderòn leads Reinvent in a way that is most responsible for the band’s similarity to acts like Dayseeker and Architects both. Where “Remembrance” highlights earnest aggression and raw power, where “Escape Route” is catchy without sacrificing punch. Calderòn’s vocal styles play to both components equally well—as does his lyricism, which ranges from desperate and furious on “Remembrance” to soulful and enrapturing on “Dust and Ashes,” “The Sleepwalker” and “Resolution.” Laden with messages of spiritual redemption combined with images of primitive violence and cruelty—and their need for cessation—Death Comes Home reach out to the sensibilities of mankind in a manner similar to Northlane or In Hearts Wake, albeit in a manner much more tasteful than either band’s recent work. Reinvent is home to a call for global redemption and reinvention—as well as reinvention on an individual level.

Despite the strong message and emotionally played music prevalent on Reinvent, it isn’t without hiccups. While the release is a mere 30-ish minutes long, it is dangerously close to monotony, with quick, highleads tremolo picked over groovy, choppy breakdowns rapidly wearing out their welcome by the time the listener gets to “Continuance.” However, this certainly doesn’t mean the latter tracks aren’t without their own moments of redemption—especially the incredible lyricism dominant within “Death Season.” The take-home point is such that Death Comes Home’s debut full length record is great for a quick fix or even moderate repetition, but may not hold up in the long run, especially to scrutinous fans of progressive music.

8.0/10

For Fans Of: Dayseeker, Northlane, In Hearts Wake, Architects

By: Connor Welsh