Single Review – Level the City – “Follower” [2014]


Artist: Level the City

“Follower” – Single


Chances are, you’ve fallen prey to some contagious trend some time in the misguided years of your youth or adolescent development. I’ll admit it—I was once a shwoopy-haired, too-tight-jeans wearing scene kid. We’ve all been there, followers to whatever bandwagon was wheeling through your town. Finally, however, there is a movement you won’t be ashamed to follow blindly—the latest single from melodic deathcore masterminds, Level the City. “Follower” is the first release since the band’s brilliant EP, From Birth, and it shows the band not just continuing, but improving upon their already crushing—yet atmospheric—blend of heavy-hitting deathcore.

From the very first second, “Follower” exudes the attitude and aggression that Level the City have customized to create their distinct sound. Percussionist Mike Crisp leads the way with pummeling, frantic drumming that sounds like something the listener might expect from the Energizer bunny. Meanwhile, the guitars roar away, as the band’s three resident masters of groove—Joe Balsewicz, Ryan Oswald and Mitch Potrykus—chug and shred away, creating a thick layer of furiously fretted mayhem. This three headed, cerebus-like assault of fretwork morphs from perfectly-toned aggression and energy into melodic, ethereal atmosphere—an atmosphere that lets Level the City’s two vocalists, Josh Olson and Carl Danielson, do what they do best. While “Follower” is every bit the instrumental monster the listener would expect from Level the City, vocally, it’s an entirely different kind of animal. Danielson and Olson lead a relentless attack on the listener’s ears, using every scream, shout, growl and bellow imaginable to highlight the band’s trademarked brooding-but-beautiful musical style. However, when the dense and heavy guitar work lets up, and the high-speed hammering of the drums subsides, Level the City lighten up with catchy, crooned clean vocals that take the listener completely by surprise. In this manner, Level the City are able to make just one track, “Follower,” slamming, groovy, crushing and catchier than the common cold—making it a trend definitely worth giving in to.



For Fans Of: Born of Osiris, Veil of Maya, Dead to Fall, After the Burial

By: Connor Welsh