REVIEW: The Last Ten Seconds of Life – Invivo [Exvivo] (2013)


Artist: The Last Ten Seconds of Life

Album: Invivo [Exvivo]


You’re lying to yourself if you think you don’t have a monster hiding inside you. Twisting and turning through your veins like a sinister, sociopathic serpent. Thudding inside your chest like an embryonic embodiment of human suffering. Inside each and every one of us is this brooding, plotting, obsessive outcast—and Invivo [Exvivo], the sophomore full-length by Pennsylvanian down-tempo deathcore act The Last Ten Seconds of Life is what happens when that inner demon finds its way out. Loaded with lyrics boasting nothing but the most insane and frenzied anger and backed by rampant, relentless riffs and pulverizing percussion, Invivo [Exvivo] is everything needed to make the listener wage war on their surroundings and completely sacrifice their sanity.

At first, you’re able to tune it out—to push past your inner demon and move through life like a normal human—whatever that means. While it takes every ounce of your not-inconsiderable strength to don a simple, bright—but fake—smile and forge on through life, it’s doable. This same perseverance drives The Last Ten Seconds of Life through the opening tracks of Invivo [Exvivo]. “Fertile Steps” and “False Awakening” are two break-neck tracks that rip and tear at the listener’s ear drums with lacerating, sharp riffs and precise, punctual percussion. This side of these Pennsylvanian punishers is one half of the band’s crushing dynamic—their ability to write speedy, catchy and pulverizing riffs with choruses and lyrics that lay eggs of misanthropic malevolence in the listener’s meninges is nothing short of stunning in and of itself. However, its effect is strengthened by The Last Ten Seconds of Life’s ability to still include segments of their signature brooding, blistering beat-down heaviness amidst furiously fretted guitars and lacerating, fierce screams is nothing short of remarkable. “Haste Makes Waste,” an aptly titled single from Invivo [Exvivo], is a prime example. Oscillating back and forth between gloomy, angsty heaviness and hate-filled breakneck instrumental hammering, “Haste Makes Waste” is a multifaceted attack on the listener which will leave them in pieces no matter how hastily they attempt to make their escape.

However, as the album progresses, the hasty, rapid steps with which the listen can push through their boiling inner rage begin to slow. More and more, the pavement grips at the listener’s sanity—turning into tar beneath their feet. This is how The Last Ten Seconds of Life snare their prey; whetting their appetite with rampaging quickness and then trapping them with nothing but the most sinister, looming heaviness. No track best exemplifies this like the juggernaut found within “Skeletal.” “Skeletal” is a track unlike any other heavy track I have ever heard—it combines sludge and down-tempo hardcore ambience with deathcore and death metal slams and sheer brutality to create a sort of down-tempo power ballad which cracks the listener’s spine and crushes their ribcage with intrusive anger—especially where the vocals are concerned. A diverse, impressive array of the most relentlessly anger vocals accompany bitter, hate-filled lyrics to completely destroy whatever sanity the listener has left. Elements of “Deadfast,” and “Morality” play to Invivo [Exvivo]’s penchant for the punishing, low-and-slow crush—using sudden downshifts in tempo to crash entire songs down upon the listener’s head, burying them alive in the process.

Finally, you can’t move—the sheer bitterness and insanity gripping at your feet has cemented you in place, and slowly started to creep up your legs. Finally, it reaches the base of your spine, tracing every vertebrae and lighting every nerve ending like a fuse to a stick of dynamite. By the time Invivo [Exvivo] finishes, those flaming fuses will have traced back their roots, igniting the purest form of sheer human hatred known to mankind. Whether it’s the catchy, nu-metal bounce and demoralizing beatdown of “Morality,” the contagious-yet-crushing “Deadfast” or the brilliantly unique “Skeletal,” the true brilliance which separates The Last Ten Seconds of Life from the likes of their gloomy, beatdown-inspired deathcore peers is found in the eclectic and marvelous mixture of blistering speed, sly technicality and stunning, sludgy heaviness. “Morality” uses an unstoppable cavalcade of vocal variety to stay hooked in the listener’s ears, making strong use of repetitive, ingraining lyrics by making each repetition sound as fresh as the first. Meanwhile, “Deadfast” is simple incessant in every way—bludgeoning instrumentation and lethal, intense songwriting to—putting it truthfully—drive the listener absolutely insane.

The monster inside everyone is unique. It can take countless forms and vary in viciousness. It can be benign or brutal—calm or crushing. No matter what form it might take however, Invivo [Exvivo] is without a doubt the album which will free your inner demon. Packed with nothing but the most relentless styles of beatdown, deathcore and hardcore alike, The Last Ten Seconds of Life have crafted an album the likes of which will drain the life and happiness from the listener—leaving nothing but contempt.



For Fans Of: Sworn In, King Conquer, Silence, Manipulator

By: Connor Welsh