Album: Destitute – EP
When you get right down to it, there is relatively little that humans need to survive. Water, food and an oxygen-and-nitrogen based atmosphere—basic sustenance—and, because Mother Nature is fickle, shelter for good measure. Beyond that—the Internet, video games, cell phones, all-you-can-eat-buffets—are all superfluous. But imagine, for a moment, being stripped of everything—from Facebook to food and water—what then? You can survive for only so long without water and nourishment until you get desperate and begin to resort to your primal instincts; and THAT is where Californian Crushers in Destitute come into play. With their latest self-titled EP, the band capture grim, dreary desperation and devastation perfectly with their relentless, ravaging style of downtempo deathcore. Six tracks of spine-shattering heaviness, this furious four piece will show you what it truly means to be without.
Destitute are a steamrolling musical force to feared—while their approach to low, slow, ludicrously heavy deathcore is nothing groundbreaking, it is expertly arranged and constructed to flow smoothly from world-ending breakdown to world-ending breakdown without filler. Build on the beefy, bold percussion from David Boice, Destitute craft a towering behemoth of beastly, brutalizing aggression that will rend the listener limb from limb. Boice’s work on the (relatively) quick and crushing “To The Fallen” gives the song’s two-step portions punch, while still lumbering along like a Goliath during the grotesquely heavy portion that serves as the song’s climax—meanwhile his fills throughout “The Dying Ones” give the song flair that helps it stand out from the remainder of the EP. A majority of Boice’s time behind the kit is spent working closely with bassist Quinn Martinez to create a murky, muddy low end. Martinez’s bass is the perfect balance of snappy, bouncy definition and sludgy, heavy dissonance—best heard throughout “Demolish” and even during the closing portion of “Weep.” Between Martinez and Boice, Destitute’s low end is all but spoken for—but that doesn’t stop guitarist Jacob Rivera from adding to it with chugs that weigh on the listener heavier than lead. While “To The Fallen” and “The Dying Ones” both feature their fair share of groove and riff, a majority of Rivera’s work is precisely what one would expect from a band whose claim to fame is downtuned devastation: dissonant, continent-cracking breakdowns. Rivera’s ruthless fretwork may not win awards for technicality, but listeners likely won’t even notice—as they’ll be too busy fist-fighting anyone within sight once “Weep” kicks in.
Destitute continue the trend of absolute aggression that defines their latest release with an absolutely devilish vocal element. Frontman Nathan Mancinias is a juggernaut, dominating the band’s EP with an enormous, aggravated roar that sears the listener’s ears shut like they were cauterized. Mancinias’ work on “Demolish,” as well as his outstanding acapella roar on “To The Fallen” showcase his gritty, grisly bellow. However, Mancinias is more than just a hefty low bellow; his mid-range shouts throughout “The Dying Ones” and guttural growls on “I Am The Alpha” are nothing short of excellent, showing that he is more than capable of holding his ground alongside two of the heavy music community’s most renowned vocalists. Again—Mancinias isn’t a truly unique vocalist and he likely won’t be appearing in many top 3 or top 5 lists, but his growls and roars are nothing short of excellent, perfectly complimenting Destitute’s devious downtempo deathcore.
In short, Destitute provide an EP without filler, full of brow-beating brutality without being too short or monotonous. With musicianship that displays solid musical coordination and well-thought song writing alongside a noteworthy vocal performance sweetened by two excellent guest vocalists, if you’re into heavy music, you’ll be into Destitute. While the quartet may not go out of their way to add anything new to a crowded genre prone to homogeny, they remind the listener why they got into downtempo deathcore to begin with. Furthermore, if the listener is a virgin to low, lurid deathcore, Destitute excel at making the genre accessible and fun. In honestly, the band are generic in the best way possible: idyllically exemplifying all the best parts of the genre with little to no error.
For Fans Of: Traitors, Bodysnatcher, Feign, Rex
By: Connor Welsh