Artist: Legends Shall Fall
Album: The End of Humanity
It’s funny how time changes things. People you swore you’d always be close with, styles you swore weren’t just a phase and hobbies you swore would stick with you the rest of your days can all fall to the wayside by the hands of time. Similarly, time can have an opposite effect: where things might once be frail and wavering, with time, they can become strong and unfaltering. My opinions on Southern Californian deathcore band Legends Shall Fall fit right in the dead center of that second category. My first listen through of their debut full length, The End of Humanity, was, well, in a word: lackluster. However, after a second, more attentive spin of the release, my opinion turned a complete 180. What was once a bland, half-hearted attempt at aggressive, angry deathcore became a colorful, misanthropic attack on my ears, laden with vicious grooves, pounding breakdowns and absolutely decimating drumming the likes of which will have the listener’s head banging and jaw dropping in no time.
The first thing which caught my ear when giving The End of Humanity a second chance was the absolutely stellar drumming. With fills that range from insane and off-the-meter to mundane and ever-so-subtly off time, they add the little bit of flare needed to spark the listener’s interest. “Condemned” and “This Betrayal” both feature an incessant, blistering barrage of lacerating blast beats and volatile fills which keep the album rolling along at a break neck pace. “The Seeker” features well-above average fill work to flow between lopsided, lurid breakdowns and vicious, filthy grooves. While it would be easy to keep listing off song titles and how exactly the drumming stands out, it would get repetitive; every song has superb drum work which ultimately gives the listener a reason to get interested in the band. Were it not for the absolutely magnificent, motive and brutalizing drum work, the final instrumental track on the album, “OMG” would be dull and pointless. However, without the chaotic roar of the vocals and lyrical distraction, the drums are able to truly take center stage.
That isn’t to say Legends Shall Fall don’t do other things correctly, however. Upon further scrutiny, many of the rampaging drum lines work as a sturdy scaffold for intimate riffing and shredding of the two, low-down-and-dirty guitars. Together, they create dynamic, pummeling grooves, which, at the indication of a well-placed fill or visceral vocal assault, drop into down-tuned, devastating breakdowns. And while the drums and guitars work together to create a beautiful, marvelous cathedral of sound, the vocals are the finishing touch which causes the album to implode, crushing the listener in a perfect storm of violence and hatred. The vocal work on The End of Humanity ranges from a guttural, grimy bellow, to a screeching, skin-peeling scream, which provides variety enough to prevent the vocals from getting monotonous. “Obsessions” has exceptional vocal variety, which uses just about every facet of the vocalist’s considerable skill.
Together, with incredible drumming, fortuitous string work and flesh-melting vocals, Legends Shall Fall craft a dynamic album which is much greater than the sum of it’s parts. While the drumming is certainly the album’s keystone, the guitars and vocals work their way into the equation in a fashion which allows the album to flow smoothly. With drop-of-a-dime breakdowns and buttery grooves, the various elements on the album work together to create an experience unlike that of many contemporary deathcore acts. While the album does have some it’s foundation built in the realm of genericism, there is just enough unique, beatdown styling and metallic chug-heavy riffing to keep the listener’s ears glued to the album. While the drums are kicking the listener in the gut, the guitars and bass are snapping their kneecaps with unrelenting, brutal pummeling. To ice the cake, the vocals are gripping the listener’s skin and tearing it clean from their bones.
Admittedly, if you aren’t a fan of the genre, Legends Shall Fall are probably not up your alley. They take several elements crucial to deathcore as a genre, and tweak them just enough to capture the listener’s attention. The End of Humanity has wonderfully written and played drum work, catchy and pulverizing grooves and more than enough vocal onslaught to keep any fan of heavy, crushing deathcore addicted and attentive from start to finish.
For Fans Of: Oceano, Sworn In, Every Hand Betrayed, Whitechapel
By: Connor Welsh/Eccentricism