Artist: I Am DeLarge
Album: I Am DeLarge – EP
Inside each and every one of is a sickness—a sickness as real and as palpable as a tapeworm yet as contagious and catastrophic as the plague. For this sickness, there is no cure, nor is there a treatment or anything to dull the deep, throbbing pain that it causes. No way to flush it out or cover it up. It is a sickness each and every one of us must live with until the day we die. The illness of which I speak is ingenuity—free thinking and originality—and none are more stricken with it than I Am DeLarge. This young group of musicians hailing from (you guessed it) Australia features former members from The Amity Affliction and Confession, and create a dynamic, unique and morally eviscerating experience with their debut self-titled EP. With disembowlingly heavy, prolapse-inducing heaviness and creative, cunning instrumentation to serve as a backdrop for pure vocal perfection, I Am DeLarge is an EP that will have the listener gripping at the edge of their seat, wide-eyed and slack-jawed—but loving every second of it.
Somewhere between the pounding, ear-drum snapping percussion and the lacerating, razor-sharp fretwork, I Am DeLarge cut the listener wide open and attempt to bleed them dry of every ounce of sanity they have. “The Square” makes use of disc-scratching overtop of punchy, prominent percussion to bash the listener’s skull against the pavement, while “Hook and Cleaver” is just that—a catchy series of riffs that gouge through the listener’s ears like hooks and slash at their throat like a well-sharpened blade. Indeed, the instrumentation on the young band’s debut release is nothing like what one would expect given the members’ previous groups. Instead, I Am DeLarge combine fierce, furious technicality with jarring and bone-busting brutality to create an all-new sound that is neither over-the-top and garish or boring and dull. The instrumentation throughout the—admittedly too-brief—release is dynamic and punchy, and keeps the listener completely engaged for it’s entire run-time, even if “engaged” is practically a synonym for gutted and left for dead.
While I Am DeLarge’s instrumentation is intense enough to force the listener into cold sweats and tremors, another truly terrifying component to consider about the release are the vocals. Filled with palpable, venomous hatred and rage, I Am DeLarge spit nothing but pure, vile poison at the listener with misanthropic and bitter lyrics that ride upon complementary vectors of vocals that simply evil. “The Square,” along with truthfully every other track on the EP, is perfect evidence of this. Home to lyrics that preach pure, unbridled acridity and vocals that pour like hydrofluoric acid into the listener’s ear to melt every ounce of goodness in their head, I Am DeLarge is a comprehensively sinister release that takes no prisoners.
The climactic aspect of this EP’s tepid, terrifying nature comes from the complementarity not just of the lyrics and the vocals, but of the vocals and the instrumentation. These two elements mesh so beautifully together that the end result is an EP that is so immersive it hardly feels like a four-track release. Rather, it engages the listener and pulls them in, refusing to let them go. Instead, it belts down their arms and legs, binds them by the throat and waist and pries open their ears and eyes—forcing them to endure the full brunt of their unfathomable bitterness. The result is a transformation—for after the 8-minute-long release has melted away the listener’s senses of purity and justice, the only thing left rotting inside their tainted, bruised and broken skull is emptiness and hate. Resounding, echoing anger and deep, throbbing misanthropy take the place of the virtues the listener once held dear. In this way, I Am DeLarge are completely reinventing the beatdown, brutalizing, down-tempo metalcore scene—one naïve listener at a time.
Beaten, battered, gutted, gored, slashed, sliced and left to rot, the listener is completely obliterated by the time I Am DeLarge are through with them. Comprehensively cunning, thoroughly demoralizing and hellaciously heavy, I Am DeLarge is a series of tracks that—while somewhat brief to be confidently called an EP—shows nothing but pure potential for a band that has what it takes to reinvent the definition of crushing.
For Fans Of: Barrier, Sworn In, Villians, Victims, Gift Giver
By: Connor Welsh