Artist: The Alaskan
Album: Diaphoresis – EP
You can feel it thickening on your forehead, dampening the back of your shirt, making it cling desperately to your skin as you cling desperately to fleeting feelings of safety. Your grip tightens, squeezing the leather-wrapped hilt of an old, dull bowie knife left forgotten in your father’s toolshed—it isn’t much, but it’s the only chance you have at escaping alive. You are hunted—always watched and never alone, you are the prey of a hunter more sophisticated than any hunter previously known by man: The Alaskan. Hailing from the gutters of New York’s urban jungle, these Albany-based aggressors are out for blood with their sophomore release, Diaphoresis. Released into a densely packed down-tempo deathcore scene, it uses fierce grooves, skin-shredding blasts and bone-snapping breakdowns as means to thin the herd, annihilating all that stands in the way of Diaphoresis’ rise to deathcore stardom.
From the very second it found your scent, it has been hunting you, blazing a trail to your doorstep and moving quickly enough to break your door cleanly from its hinges. The Alaskan are a finely tuned predator, working in careful, collected harmony to deliver a concise, crushing display of demonically heavy down-tempo deathcore than would send shivers down the spines of even the genre’s heaviest heavyweights. Percussionist Jae Segatto is the band’s boldly-beating heart, pounding with enough force to break whatever ribcage it finds itself locked within. From the sharp snare cracks that send “Trenchfoot” into motion, to the bouncy, booming kick drum that defines Diaphoresis’ drumming, Segatto is sinister, a tyrant behind the kit. Every hefty smack of the kick drum and boom of the toms sounds like an anvil flattening ten pounds of raw steak, or an explosion sounding aloud in a faraway town—remorselessly heavy roars that are amplified by the thick plunk and chunky candor of bassist Dalton Grant’s gory grooves. Grant and Segatto are The Alaskan’s ground floor, working together with deadly precision and filth-coated fury to provide Diaphoresis with a low-down-and-dirty deep end that would even drown Michael Phelps. Whats more? These deep, placid pools of dissonant, dirty instrumentation serve as a stellar habitat for the dual-fretted onslaught of Kevin Curry and Kyle Wallace to slither and swim. Curry and Wallace do one thing, and they do it with lethal precision: heavy. Every churning, chugging note is let loose like a bomb of mud and filth, exploding inside the listener’s ears. Skeptics need look no further than “Oil Rigger,” or the EP’s title track—as Curry and Wallace transition from tyrannical, tremendous riffs and gyrating grooves to prolapse-inducing, blunt-force-trauma-imparting breakdowns that leave the listener not simply senseless, but lifeless.
Before long, all of the predator’s energizer-esque energy has brought it to your door, busted inside your home and launching for your exposed throat with tooth and claw drawn and sharp. If The Alaskan are a fierce, ravenous hunter, then the voice of Mickey Rowen is its thirst for blood and hunger for flesh—the means by which is ends the life of its prey. Rowen is relentless: a monster that previously only stalked the listener in their worst nightmares. Tracks like the aptly named “Night Terrors” display this, as Rowen’s filthy, guttural bellows and frantic, panic-stricken delivery sound like the things sleepless nights are made of. Rowen’s reign of terror continues throughout “Gangrene,” where he spits words of hate and bitterness with such acridity that they feel as if they could induce sickness and disease simply by hearing them. Rowen doesn’t simply stick with a shithouse-dirty bellow; his vocal prowess often turns skyward, scraping the listener’s ears with the occasional shrill scream or harsh mid-range shout, heard especially well on “Oil Rigger,” and the EP’s closing track “Diaphoresis.”
What follows is a mashup of matted, wet fur and mangled flesh—flashes of dull silver light up the room as you frantically swipe and stab at any major artery that might dissuade the beast’s assault. Alas, no luck: The Alaskan cannot be stopped; not now. Diaphoresis is the chunky, meaty heaviness the band’s debut EP displayed so proudly, but with a refined energy and precise delivery that it exponentially more lethal. No track displays this more accurately than the EP’s title track, “Diaphoresis.” “Diaphoresis” is Yukon’s cutthroat heaviness and slaughterhouse meat combined with touches of speed and fluidity to allow the track to flow smoothly without sounding forced. “Diaphoresis” is everything that is good not just about The Alaskan’s latest EP, but rather, down-tempo deathcore as a whole. Fans of Yukon will find themselves positively floored by Diaphoresis’s disastrous new take on heaviness—and those who skipped over Yukon will feel all the dumber for having done so.
Every shred of skin and pound of flesh stripped from your bones—no blood left to tell the tale of your predation. From victim to vanished, The Alaskan found you, fought you and devoured you—making you just another appetizer consumed in vain in an empty attempt to quell Diaphoresis’ hunger for dominion over the heads of the world’s heavy music lovers.
For Fans Of: Towers, Traitors, Black Tongue, REX, In Trenches
By: Connor Welsh