Descending - "New Death Celebrity"

Massacre Records (2011)

If you’ve ever wondered what Korn would sound like if they suddenly started playing melodeath you have three choices: fire up  In Flames “A Sense of Purpose” or “Soundtrack to Your Escape” (“The Quiet Place” – The best Korn song Jonathan Davis never wrote?) or you can listen to Descending’s second album “New Death Celebrity”. In the latter case the picture would not be complete without the influence of American metalcore, particularly God Forbid and Trivium encased in the climate of In Flames “Come Clarity”. Still, overall, this is melodeath through and through. There’s even a fair helping of extra-Korn nu-metal, a little Slipknot here and there but generally used as spice not gravy.

Descending are outstanding musicians and creative songwriters…some of the time. The opener and the fantastic “How Much Life Ways” (most like “Come Clarity”) are examples of that, as is the closer. Their style also brings Marionette to mind for the way they structure the songs with chorus or a melodic motif not always repeated, which invites multiple spins. Unfortunately, some songs repeat the same riff or idea and others tend to drag on with no purpose. Overall, the songwriting is a little unfocused, more so than on Mystic Prophecy’s album.

Frederick Noström’s production (In Flames, Arch Enemy, Dark Tranquillity and pretty much the entire Gothenburg scene, etc, etc.) is hit and miss, despite of what they might tell you. For example, “Rise of the Tyrant” by Arch Enemy, a great album with substandard production, was produced by Frederick Noström. I realize this is often not band’s fault, but, likewise, "New Death Celebrity" production is far from ideal, as occasionally, guitars sound thin or everything sounds the same so that you can’t tell a drum plate from a guitar. Believe me, tried different headphones , car stereo, earbuds - it’s not a terrible sound but it could and should be improved for the follow up.

The record deserves 4.5/6 what with addictive as hell songs like the opener or “How Much Life Weights”, but I knock off half a point for production. With time and money this could be a force to be reckoned with in the future.


Rating: 4 / 6

Composed by Dethster4life

Roy Kristensen 13.01.2012 11:01

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