Album: World Demise
The world has teetered on an axis of agony and abysmal, bitter despair for what feels like eons. It is propelled by the pain and suffering of its inhabitants—the derisive and distasteful acts of the unkind to the helpless and needy. With every dime stolen—every man, woman and child killed over nothing but the names of empty Gods and worthless leaders—the rot that infects the world moves ever so slightly inward, encroaching on its core. Nearly hollowed out by hellacious and horrendous acts of civil atrocity, in this year—2017—the world will finally meet its end. World Demise is upon us
And it comes by the hands of Canadian downtempo deathcore juggernauts, Falsifier.
Cruel and unusual throughout the entirety of their debut full-length album, these Windsor-based mosh-warriors crept from a seemingly inconspicuous and innocuous debut EP to be one of the most ruthless and immense acts to roam the continent—and World Demise is picture-perfect proof of it. Combining elements of dark, brooding deathcore with contemporary, crushing production and a penchant for all things low, slow and sludgy, Falsifier lash out at the world by and large without regard for the well-being of anyone within reach. Equal parts groovy and gut-wrenching, with moments of speedy, lacerating and immolating intensity to draw sharp lines between moments of bone-busting, brutalizing aggression, World Demise stands as cacophonous proof that downtempo deathcore is still here, and can certainly be done excellently.
With every album and song Falsifier have released, they’ve brought something new to heavy music—and World Demise is no exception. Taking downtempo deathcore—a genre that has earned more than its fair share of eye rolls, belabored sighs and dismissive grunts—and infusing it with raw, ruthless energy and elements from across the heavy music spectrum, Falsifier prove (yet again) that they, much like the genre they’re rooted in, aren’t to be written off or taken lightly. From the intense, punchy and earth-shaking percussion from Matt Andrews, to the rumbling, seismic power of bassist Alexander Skinner’s low, voluminous grooves, Falsifier’s low end is the most lurid and grisly it’s ever been. Starting with the ten-ton “Choke” and working through immense and eviscerating songs like “World Demise,” “Sabbath,” and “R.I.D.,” Andrews and Skinner are at the top of their game. “Choke” and the lead single, “Depraved,” highlight two very different sides of Andrews’ dynamic talents—the former absurdly low and sludgy, using flashy, sparse fills to keep the blood pumping, while the latter is an infinitely more peppy and energetic (well, peppy relative to the drudging, ominous baseline the band are known for) display of fleet-footed and fast-handed percussive prowess. “Depraved,” much like “Deadbeat” and the album’s titular track, is where Andrews and Skinner do some of their most dynamic work, letting the grooves and raunchy, roaring breakdowns from guitarists Colin Goifu and Jordan Sawchuk truly shine. Goifu’s grotesque fretwork and Sawkchuk’s writing is never technical, but always terrifying—striking fear into the heart of the listener from the first, prolapse-inducing breakdown to “Choke.” Constantly combining off-putting, goosebump-inducing leads overtop of groovy, low and slow chugs and riffs, Goifu and Sawchuk work with Skinner’s low, snappy bass and Andrews’ awe-inspiring drumming to create a cohesive approach to heavy music. While the band have always been in sync, their collective (and individual) growth has never been more apparent as it is on songs like “Depraved,” which see them openly embracing slam-tinted brutality—or “R.I.D.,” which adds subtle splashes of raw deathcore and ravenous, downtuned devastation to make a song sure to split the listener’s spine in twain.
This is normally a part where I would have expected to write something along the lines of “frontman Aiden Versteegh just keeps it up, and it’s great.”
I would. Except Versteegh pushes himself even further, making his efforts on the band’s previous efforts seem bland and weak by comparison, towering above the efforts of 99 percent of his contemporaries. Versteegh’s voice—aided by Sawkchuk at points—takes on an even deeper and darker tone, amplified by his abundant energy and raunchy, ruthless demeanor. Songs like “Choke” highlight this—with his mid-range yell splitting up segments of surreal, sinister depth. Meanwhile, the lead single, “Depaved,” sees Versteegh try something new altogether, capturing Falsifier’s slammier side and rolling with it in such a convincing fashion that the listener will have to triple-check whether it’s a guest vocalist or not—I know I did. But speaking of guest vocalists is to mention features by the twin terrors behind fellow Canadian crushers AngelMaker—who add a shrill and skin-shredding vocal element to “Word Demise,” or, the legendary Adam Warren, who does exactly what he does best on “Shallow Grave.” Even with these appearances, however, Versteegh still shines—with “Depraved” seeing his broadest and boldest range yet, and “Sabbath” capturing his finest lyricism and patterning to date.
Falsifier could have merely ridden the hype wave from the record signing and Big-name tours by releasing a “heavy for the sake of heavy” record that has little lasting impact. However after the better part of a year of binging this album, watching it take shape and grow, I find it safe to say that the quartet did no such thing. World Demise is devastating from start to finish, sure enough, but it’s also so much more. Sure—in some respects, Falsifier didn’t take it upon themselves to write a genre-changing, avant-garde album—but they put fresh blood and life into a stale and suffocating genre. World Demise is like a portal in time, taking the listener back to the first time they heard Traitors’ self-titled EP, or Villains’ debut album. It is full of vicious, life-ending vigor; heaviness that transcends definition—and it is more than powerful enough to make the listener’s world come crashing down.
For Fans Of: Filth, The Acacia Strain, Traitors, Bodysnatcher, Rex
By: Connor Welsh