REVIEW: The Dialectic – The Dialectic [2016]


Artist: The Dialectic 

Album: The Dialectic


A dialectic is defined as a conversation or investigation into the truth as it pertains to other potential explanations for an event, occurrence or belief. As humans, few of us are satisfied with one explanation for something—especially things as controversial or universally questioned as the roots of our origin and the purpose for mankind’s existence on earth—so we engage in debates, or dialectics. While one explanation for our origin and purpose is accounted for by religion (that we are crafted in God’s image and to serve him), it would seem that the opposing belief, and instigation for debate, resides within the aptly named self-titled album by Texan deathcore outfit, The Dialectic. Built on a platform of grisly grooves, metallic riffs and ruthless breakdowns, The Dialectic’s latest full-length release is a resounding antithetical statement directed towards the masses. Taking their deathcore moniker seriously, The Dialectic blend riff-driven and energetic death metal with punchy hardcore and metalcore to create an engaging experience that will please existing fans of the band and appeal to new ears across the heavy music community.

The Dialectic is an experience that is pure deathcore from start to finish. Avoiding monotonous downtempo trendiness and steering clear of hyper-speed slamming and brutal death metal territory, this talented quartet rely on an honest blend of horrifyingly heavy –core influences while adding plenty of speedy, sinister metallic influence to keep the album moving along. Percussionist Jeremy Alexander is the steady and speedy heart beating along at the core of the band’s dynamic—enabling the didactic blend of death metal and hardcore to truly take off. Songs like “No Hymns” and “Misbegotten One” see Alexander using less speed and technicality but more atmosphere and punchy, catchy patterns. “Misbegotten One” especially sees Alexander leaning heavily on the ride bell and soft, splashy cymbals to contrast his cantankerous kick drum and cracking snare. Meanwhile, “Dying at the Altar” and “Religion Kills” see him kicking things up several notches—adding blistering blast beats and fleet footwork into play that tests bassist Justin Mehan’s ability to keep up. Mehan doesn’t struggle, however, as his lumbering, lurid bass tone serves as a ferocious force that amplifies every meaty thud from Alexander’s kick drum. Mehan’s monstrous bass can be heard excellently at the opening to “Dominance Displayed”—where guitarist Derek Terry takes off with a haunting lead, Mehan takes the low road and rumbles along with Alexander. Terry is where The Dialectic get a great majority of their diversity. True enough, Alexander oscillates from speed to smashing aggression often enough, songs like “Dying at the Altar” and “Dominance Displayed” sees Terry taking what Alexander lays down and making it stellar. “Dying at the Altar” sees Terry taking charge when Alexander fades into the background—where “Dominance Displayed” is an example of Terry building from Alexander’s speed and energy to let loose with a series of scathing riffs and brutalizing breakdowns. Together, this wondrous trio make tedious transitions flow smoothly as The Dialectic are anything but monotonous.

Where The Dialectic are instrumentally driving and varied, the musical backdrop has nothing on the diversity from frontman Mitch Howie. Howie hits everything from burly bellows to screeching highs and shrill shrieks with ease—keeping things constantly moving from high to low without stumbling or slipping up on a single syllable. “Never Again” and “Religion Kills” are excellent examples of what a The Dialectic—and Howie—are all about. With vocal diversity and lyrics that discuss the futility and inherent dislike of religion, Howie proudly earns The Dialectic’s name—a powerful and punishing voice standing in ferocious opposition to atrocities committed in a God’s name. Howie has it all: energy, endurance, range and power—making him a household name when it comes to vocalists in the heavy music underground, and rightfully so.

With metallic influence and murderous heaviness both under their belt—and topped off with a simply excellent frontman—The Dialectic seem to have it all. The only true shortcoming of the band’s latest album is just that; it is short. Clocking in at just over half an hour with an instrumental track that seems to be a little too long for its own good, The Dialectic gets the listener hooked just in time for the album to be over. However, even with its slight brevity in mind, it cannot be ignored that just about every song (save the instrumental track “Innocence Lost”) is raunchy and relentless; unfiltered deathcore at its finest. Not relying on 10 breakdowns per song to be heavy, yet not tooriffy to be considered deathcore, The Dialectic sound something like The Black Dahlia Murder’s chunkier, slightly chuggier cousin—expertly blending a sprawling spectrum of heavy music styles into a single sound and topping it off with tremendous vocals, arguably winning over the hearts of even the most skeptical heavy music fanatics.



For Fans Of: Whitechapel, Carnifex, The Black Dahlia Murder, Oceano

By: Connor Welsh