• The Walking Dead Orchestra - Architects of Destruction (2013) - Finally a diversified and gripping deathcore album - 70% (28/05/14)

    The Walking Dead Orchestra - Architects of Destruction (2013)

    The Walking Dead Orchestra is a quite young French extreme metal band from Grenoble that just put out its first full length release entitled “Architects of Destruction”. Let’s set a few things straight right from the beginning: the word “orchestra” might appear in the band name but what you get on here are thirty-five minutes of technically impressive and straight death metal and deathcore.

    It may sound strange to you but a few tracks eventually grew on me after a couple of spins. After a first try, almost all songs sounded quite alike and seemed to focus only on a quite brutal attitude. After some time, I discovered more and more details with my headphones on and started to appreciate this record more and more even if this genre is usually not my cup of tea. I’m a very curious listener though and open for almost all kinds of metal music and I immediately felt that these five men have enough talent to stand out among so many similar bands coming from the United States of America and Indonesia these days.

    First of all, I like the fact that the dominant and aggressive death metal vocals and the more black metal orientated vocal parts harmonize very well. Even though the death metal vocals are rough you can still understand parts of the lyrics which is always a good sign to me. The black metal vocals are less used but almost always in a quite efficient way. The brutal and simplistic guitar riffs meet a few surprising and brutal breakdowns. Many tracks have a slower and more modern middle part that develops some atmosphere and gives you a short break from all the musical madness that surrounds it. Let’s not forget the vivid and colorful powerhouse drumming on here. The technical abilities of this band should clearly not be underestimated.

    My favorite track on here is “Catharsis for the Fallen”. The slow and almost industrial middle part creates a good contrast to the pitiless but nevertheless diversified beginning and ending of the song. That’s what I call a diversified and passionate high quality extreme metal song. The longest song on the record and album closer “Locusts” is of a similar quality but takes a few more spins due to its numerous rhythm changes and sounds a little bit less accessible to me at first try.

    Other great tracks on here are the fast, modern and in an atmospherically positive sense sterile and quite nihilistic opener “Swamp Fever”, the slower and more atmospheric grower “A Mandatory Bloodshed” with distorted guitar effects and a few samples of burning fire and also the versatile “Entombment Of A Monarch” that develops a quite bleak atmosphere and which is probably the most haunting song on this release.

    In the end, I’m very positively surprised by the first strike of this rather unknown band. They made me appreciate a genre I know and like less and they surely wrote a couple of quite diversified but uncompromising tracks. The balance between brutality and technical abilities is very good on here. Genre fans should definitely not miss this new band and check them out. I hope that they will soon get further attention and some credit for what they have already achieved in the first few years of their promising career.

    Originally written for The Metal Observer

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