Album: Dissimulation – EP
There are a couple safe bets in music—and one of my personal favorites is that if the band’s name ends in “-ectomy,” “-otomy” or “-ostomy” you can pretty safely bet that it’s going to be heavier than all Hell. “-otomy” is a medical-surgical suffix indicating “an incision into” while “-ectomy” is a suffix indicating “removal” (and “-ostomy” usually indicates “making a hole”), and, given their relative abundance in the names of common surgical procedures, they’ve also made themselves fodder for several bands in the extreme ends of heavy music in one way or another. Now, of course, there are exceptions—I’m sure there are bands -ectomizing or -otomizing something that aren’t relentlessly heavy or unendingly brutal, but rising Floridian deathcore outfit Tracheotomy aren’t one of them. The band’s debut EP, Dissimulation, is a monument to traditional deathcore done devastatingly well, capturing the rough, raw and ragged-around-the-edges feel of the late 2000s without feeling like a cheap nostalgia cash-grab. Laden with riffs and pummeling breakdowns—but infused with elements of modern hardcore and just enough production to give it curb appeal—Dissimulation is a dizzying example of deathcore done perfectly in a year where the standard is unreasonably high.
I don’t know about you, but I find nostalgia to be a double edged sword. Who doesn’t love a trip down memory lane, after all? But more and more, nostalgia is becoming a crutch for bands to build a following without really putting out much in the way of music that really authentically…them, y’know? The result is often getting sucked into a release because the first two songs remind you of the first time you heard a breakdown in eighth grade or something like that, only to find the remainder of the release wholly underwhelming.
Again—Tracheotomy are not that band.
Dissimulation definitely captures some of the key elements and distinctive touches of many of Deathcore’s figurative forerunners. On a superficial level, the listener can glean everything from Oceano’s Depths and Float Face Down’s Bury Your Beliefs to Elysia’s Masochist and I Shot the Sheriff—but on a deeper level, the band offer something more than that. Every song is a carefully crafted amalgam of blistering blast beats and bone-rending breakdowns that see mach-speed percussion blending beautifully with murky, grisly guitar and grimy bass. Songs like “Your Enemy, Your Mind” keep things going at a break-neck pace, feeling sharp, metallic and vaguely modern—especially compared to “Wasted Evolution,” a song that leans heavily on the stylings of traditional deathcore. Instrumentally, Tracheotomy are tremendous at creating something that simultaneously sounds like it was written and recorded in 2008 and 2022, with splashes of contemporary hardcore and metalcore used to add diversity and contrast between the dense slabs of demonically aggressive deathcore. The record’s title track stands as a colossal testament to that, with a riff-heavy backbone broken up by stuttering breakdowns that are familiar, yet still exhilarating.
Just as the band are instrumentally varied, they are vocally diverse. Dissimulation capitalizes on sharp, shrill screams juxtaposed against ghastly guttural gurgles and a raw mid-range yell to hammer home its point. Songs like “Your Enemy, Your Mind” and “Lithobid” see incredible transitions from shrieking screams to blistering bellows without skipping a beat. While Dissolution is home to an incredible native vocal performance, the feature from Oceano’s Adam Warren on “Wasted Evolution” adds even more to the release—especially on a track that already felt as though it may have been a B-side to Depths. Between a strong feature and tremendous primary focal component, Dissimulation—and Tracheotomy as a whole—continue to provide the same intensity and variety that one would expect from a deathcore release, but amplified and refined well beyond what one would expect from an artist’s debut offering.
I was a little skeptical when I was made aware of another deathcore band that “sounds just like the 2010s!” By Twitter. However, despite my skepticism I was excited—and now, having experienced Tracheotomy’s Dissimulation, I am flabbergasted. Tracheotomy manage to make something sound familiar, comforting and warm while still capturing an atmosphere of cold, bitter hatred and stinging metallic intensity. The band capture the energy and vivacious intensity of what it felt like to get into heavy music in the mid 2000s while still remaining relevant and modern enough to appeal to that same group of people just listening to their first breakdowns this year. At the end of the day, Tracheotomy’s debut offering is a prodigal testament to deathcore in 2022, and another indication that heavy music as a whole is in the midst of a relative renaissance.
For Fans Of: Oceano, Elysia, Postmortem Promises, Float Face Down, I Shot the Sheriff
By: Connor Welsh