Artist: Bound by Exile
Single: Monarchy of Dust
So often, when bands announce a “huge” style change or a “next-level” influence to their music, they’re…well, frankly, full of shit. Needless to say, this trend had many people skeptical when Exeter, UK deathcore act Bound by Exile announced that they would be dropping the “-core” aspect of their sound in order to pursue a more standard death metal sound. The result? A sound which is far from standard, and also far from their previous works, as the deathcore-turned-death metal act’s latest single, “Monarchy of Dust” is not only a far cry from their previous material, but an enormous leap forward for the band’s dynamic and already-stellar reputation.
While “Monarchy of Dust” is a shorter track than one might have expected, it is absolutely devastating from start to finish. The guitars harmonize brilliantly, with a punishing, low-end groove from the rhythm section, and high-fretted, skin shredding riffs from the lead guitar. Meanwhile, the drums race along at a spine-shattering pace, giving the listener goose bumps, as the combination of blistering blast beats and pummeling, incessant fill-work gives little room for reprieve. Furthermore, the vocals find themselves less forced to fill a now-non-existent void created by previously punctual and stuttering breakdowns. Improved instrumental flow enables a stronger vocal backbone to provide greater amounts of integrity to the song’s already sufficiently sturdy structure. The simple truth of the matter is that, while all of these elements combine to create a dense, heavy and foreboding atmosphere, the result is far from lachrymating. The listener still has room to breathe and thoroughly enjoy all the multifaceted components the track has to offer.
Without a doubt, the changes in Bound by Exile’s instrumental proclivities towards a heavier, harder-hitting death metal style are positive ones. Shreddier, more invasive and lacerating riffs are supported by punctual, pummeling percussion and lined with layers of visceral, skin-rending vocals. Where listeners might have been dissuaded by threats of an overwhelming change in the band’s style, the only thing that is truly overwhelming is how enormously improved and refined Bound by Exile have become on “Monarchy of Dust.”
For Fans Of: Ingested, Nexilva, Upheaval
By: Connor Welsh