Artist: Fulfill the Prophecy
For ages now, mankind has thrived with the looming threat and overwhelming fear of alien invasion in the back of its collective mind. A prediction made by countless films, books and folk-tales, the demise of humanity is widely imagined as occurring in an epic struggle against life forms far beyond our comprehension—this prophecy, should you choose to call it that, is the topic of Disambiguation, the debut full-length album by the Pennsylvanian technical deathcore trio, Fulfill the Prophecy. Reigning over the listener with a daunting mixture of slam, technical death metal and hardcore, Disambiguation is a refreshing recollection of tales told time and time again by Fulfill the Prophecy’s peers, invigorated by insane speed and immense brutality that will make it a mainstay in any extreme metal fanatic’s collection.
Disambiguation is an infinitely more intricate and devastating amalgamation of heavy music stylings than its straightforward genre tag would have the listener think. Fulfill the Prophecy draw from punishing, piercing slam-death and tediously technical death metal alike to weave an intricate instrumental canvas that will cover the listener like a warm quilt but suffocate them like a plastic bag drawn over their head. Percussionist Austin Kelly spends the entirety of Disambiguation on a rampage—laying the listener to waste with lacerating blast beats on “Deception” while adding fancy, upbeat and jazz-influenced patterns to the mix on “Earth Has Fallen.” Kelly’s drumming is both dynamic and devastating, with moments that establish subtlety and serenity sharply contrast with ferocious, fleet kick drum patterns that shred any sense of softness and atmosphere he might have kept in reserve. “The Executioners” is a brilliant example—every bit as aggressive as the title would have you think, Kelly kills it, all the while adding atmosphere and delicacy where needed to stay true to the band’s dynamism. To speak of dynamism is to speak of Kelly’s figurative “other half”: guitarist Nick Zalepka. Zalepka’s furious fretwork—abundant throughout “Rectify,” and indeed the entire album—is a beautiful-yet-brutal contrast to his unbelievable dissonance and disastrous tendencies to slam the listener into eternal damnation. “Project Mortality,” the album’s opening track, ends with a slam so severe the listener’s spine will soar out of their rectum, and their skull may as well be as flat as a flying saucer. Zalepka’s insane riffing and chugging keep Disambiguation flying forward on all cylinders, even during the instrumental track “Disambiguation,” keeping the listener hooked even in spite of the slightly worn-out storyline.
This is the ugly, bold truth: technical deathcore doesn’t need more anthems about alien life—you can thank Rings of Saturn, Serpentspire, or any one of the hundreds of bands that have dedicated entire discographies to hostile extraterrestrials for that. However, where Fulfill the Prophecy might lose trivial points for over-done subject matter, they earn full marks for furious, diverse vocal talent. Frontman Andy “Muffins” Wilson is a true talent—a prodigal force to be reckoned with—and Disambiguation is picture-perfect proof. Muffins is murderous any way you choose to examine his talent. Where it comes to stamina and endurance, Wilson wins easily, filling every track with an unrelenting downpour of bellows, gurgles, shrieks and shouts to keep the listener entranced. This carried over to his diversity and range; as Wilson hits unbelievable highs with just as much ease as he nails horrifying low growls. Even his mid-range shouts are particularly gritty, especially where he chants them a mile-per-minute in “The Executioner.” Wilson’s talent is undeniable, and more than compensates for the “been there, heard that” storyline he spits.
A back-breaking blend of hellish vocals and demonic musicianship, Disambiguation sounds like a nightmare come to life—in the best sense of the word. From the first riff to the last chug, Fulfill the Prophecy don’t let up. Even with an instrumental track that might feel like “filler” at first, the listener is quick to learn there is not a single cent of extra or superfluous material on the album. Even where “Vengeance” and “Enslaved Realm”unfold into epic, sprawling sonic adventures, there is no note wasted—as every snare crack and string pluck is seared into the listener’s skull with pure, infernal intensity. If you’ve been looking for a lesson in technicality that can slam with the best of them and break it down harder than Emmure, look no further than Fulfill the Prophecy.
For Fans Of: Serpentspire, Rings of Saturn, Ingested, Pathology, Archspire
By: Connor Welsh