Artist: A Night In Texas
There’s a great saying—“the best laid plans of Mice and Men…” well, you know the rest. It couldn’t be more applicable now. Head in your hands, red and blue lights flashing in your rear-view mirror, it really starts to hit you–just how far gone the situation is. The district police officer leaves his car and walks towards yours, your sweaty, shaking palm grips at the pistol tucked next to your seat. The smell of just-beginning-to-rot flesh comes painfully poignant. You have a decision to make. Likewise, Australian deathcore prodigies A Night In Texas find themselves stuck on a figurative border. With one foot planted firmly in the winding, sweeping vines of technically magnificent and abusively lacerating death metal, and the other foot buried deep within the grime and crush of hard-hitting, slamming deathcore, Invigoration witnesses the band not simply straddling the line between technicality and heaviness, but striding along it with what appears to be relative ease. So when confronted with your self-same situation, these Cairns-based crushers opt to shoot first and ask questions later–and do so with remarkable accuracy.
It started on a cold night a little over three years ago. You didn’t mean for anything bad to happen. No one ever does–not at first at least. You were on vacation somewhere tropical, you’d met a girl, had a couple too many drinks and were headed back to your motel room, one thing lead to another–and now the only thing you can really remember from that night is her scream. It seemed to burst her lungs open, and split your head in half. Likewise, A Night In Texas burst forward upon the listener, and swing an ice pick right at their ears. From the very get go, Invigoration uses a belligerently heavy, no-holds-barred dynamic to assault the listener and send them reeling out of their comfort zone. The most effective way this is done is found within the enormously bipolar, yet constantly engaging vocals. “Throne of Flies” witnesses the harsh vocals range from a skull-splitting high screech to an ungodly low, bellowed growl–hitting just about every range in between. “Human Castle” makes an extended use of a marvelous mid-range inward scream which, at first, takes the listener almost by surprise. However, by this point in the EP, the listeners truthfully shouldn’t find themselves surprised by any aspect of the enormous vocal range present on Invigoration. The non-stop vocal attack waged by A Night In Texas keeps the listener constantly engaged–whether it’s the speedy toggles between skyscraper screams and gurgling growls, or the perfect pitch of the inward bellow, the vocal element on this EP is simply peerless.
You know it was wrong, but while bustling about your motel room, wrapping the body in sheets and hauling it down to your Hertz rent-a-car, the only thing you could focus on was how alive you felt. After all, isn’t this why you went on vacation in the first place? To feel alive, new and different? Well, needless you say, you’ve gotten that much–and then some. Sure, part of it was fear, but so much of it was just a boiling-hot blood rush. The instrumentation on A Night In Texas’ debut EP provides absolutely the same effect. While at times the guitar’s jarring range and the percussion’s remarkable speed are frightening, they ultimately provide the album with an incessant, unstoppable heartbeat which keeps it racing along. Lightning-fast drumming and low, rumbling bass pave the way for razor sharp guitars to slice and dice the listener’s eardrums into unimaginably small pieces. “Orphan of Humanity” shows the drums pounding among the fastest I’ve ever heard, while “Defaming the Omega” is a masterful, stunning piece of songwriting which shows each instrument working in synchronous harmony with one another, guitars bouncing back and forth at break-neck speeds, racing to keep up with the machine-gun speed drums–and succeeding that. The simple fact is that the instrumentation–not to be outdone–provide a stunning amount of diversity which is mirrored brilliantly by the vocals to create an immersive, crushing dynamic.
The question became not if you would kill again, but when–not to forget how or where. The thrill was simply too much, and, truthfully, you were too charming and alluring to random, self-loathing girls to let your talents and bloodlust go to waste. This repetition lead to only one thing: perfection. Or what you had at least perceived to be perfection. Invigoration is, again, no different. It is the result of a well-practiced and perfectly-honed dynamic which shows A Night In Texas taking the throne as prodigal masters of hard-hitting, technically perfect deathcore. “Throne of Flies” does this from the opening seconds of the track, and carries it through the closing seconds of “Defaming the Omega.” Deafening, shredding guitars reach skywards with the unfathomably screeched vocals one second, only to dive downwards to murky, limitless depths with the pounding, rollicking bass and sludgy growls the next. While at first, this hard-to-follow dynamic might seem dense or obtuse, it rapidly takes shape and develops form with which the listener can empathize which and thoroughly enjoy–especially by the time the somewhat brief EP has run its course, leaving the listener racing to press the “repeat” button and go through the adventure all over again.
So, what do you do? When faced with the choice between capture and freedom–between victory and defeat? The choice is obvious–you do as A Night In Texas has done and reach down deep–where it counts and pull the trigger. Invigoration is the product of a band who knows exactly what to do and when to do it, combining perfect timing with abundant talent to create what might not be the technical deathcore EP of 2013, but the overall EP of the year.
For Fans Of: Sentenced to Dissection, Dystopia, Infant Annihilator, Ingested
By: Connor Welsh