Artist: Wicked World
Album: As I Decay – EP
There is seemingly no end to the kinds of evil and strife that plague the world. We live in an age where humanity has more words for and ways to describe bitterness and malevolence than we do ways to counteract it and express mirth. Earth is a quagmire of cess and sin with more names and faces than Morpheus. Enter Wicked World, a devastatingly diverse Deathcore band whose influences and styles mirror the mire of maliciousness that occupies our earth. This wicked Wisconsin act combine traditional hardcore elements, downtuned grooviness and disgustingly heavy breakdowns on As I Decay, an EP that will lay waste to the listener’s ears–and the rest of them as well.
When is the last time you considered the roots of deathcore’s etymology? If it’s been a while, you would do well to examine the instrumental forces driving As I Decay. Wicked World are awash with slamming death metal influence, splattered frantically atop their canvas of crushing, churning hardcore; as the band carefully balance the two to establish a backbone for the brutalizingly diverse deathcore experience. Percussionist Josh Kanute lies at the balance’s apex, killing the listener with a vast armory of percussive tactics. Kanute is punctual and proficient with speedy, lacerating blast beats and polyrhythmic fills–as heard best in “I Lost God Today”–however, that is not the extent of his prowess. “The Deep” sees Kanute working side by side with bassist Matt Tucholke to slam the listener as steadily as the Energizer bunny, pummeling the listener with crushing, looming toms as Tucholke snaps and slinks away with earth-shaking bass grooves. Even the conclusion to “I Lost God Today” sees the duo dropping from extreme speed and lethal technicality to shatter the listener’s spine with a paralyzing sequence of slams that is fright inducing to say the least. However, as these two provide the EP with an earthy backbone that ranges from two-steppy pep to jarring brutality, the most dynamic source of diversity stems from the furious fretwork of guitarists Chris Easton and Jake Gerard. Easton and Gerard lead a fret-based onslaught that ranges from bouncy, mathy shredding (a la “Penance”) to doom-laden, monstrously dissonant sludge (which is especially strong at he conclusion to “Vexed,” or “I Lost God Today.”) Simply put, there seems to be no limit to the styles Easton and Gerard attack the listener with, as their grooves and riffs weave around the listener’s neck like a serpent, only to fashion a slipknot of sinister brutality to snap the listener’s neck.
So far you’ve heard a lot about diversity–blast beats, breakdowns, grooves and riffs; after all, what more could a fan of heavy music want? But there exists the strong source of straightforward traditional hardcore influence that can be heard throughout As I Decay. True enough, Wicked World occasionally dip into bouncy two-step sequences or topsy-turvy riffs that remind the listener of Expire or Backtrack, but there is more hardcore influence to the EP than a series of cool riffs and fast drum patterns. Enter vocalist Alex Miller–who continues the band’s trend of tremendous variety and unique talent. There’s no sense in beating around the bush–it seems as if there is no style Miller can’t do. Even with the assistance of many of heavy music’s biggest names, Miller holds his own magnificently, relying primarily on a gruff Left Behind-esque shout, but often delving into guttural, grimy lows or shrieking highs. “Face the Cold” sees Miller at his peak, climbing his entire range as if it were Mt. Everest (and with its size, it may as well be), even including tunnel-throat-esque lows and bitter hardcore barks. If the listener expected Wicked World’s tank of tremendous diversity to run dry in the vocal department, they were sorely mistaken, as Miller’s performance is top notch.
There’s no simple way to describe Wicked World’s debut EP, especially in light of the fact that there aren’t many bands who do what Wicked World do. This fierce five-piece put the “sin” in Wisconsin, as they are the bastard son of a three-way between Duck Duck Goose, Suffokate and Oceano–including the former’s technicality and attitude with the latter’s heaviness and ferocity. As I Decay is a marvelously unique release that gives the listener something new and surprising with each listen–something not many deathcore bands can say for their songs and albums. With mammoth breakdowns that make snails seem like speed demons and soul-shredding riffs that would do Martyr Defiled proud, As I Decay is slamming and sinister from start to finish–with the only sense of peace and repose coming from the rotting corpse left of the listener at the release’s conclusion.
For Fans Of: Duck Duck Goose, Oceano, Traitors, Expire, Suffokate
By: Connor Welsh