DESPISED ICON came on to the scene pretty much out of the blue. Formed by current and former members of HEAVEN’S CRY, NEURAXIS and DYING DAYS, the band made itself infamous with their spin on heavy music, mixing up Hardcore, Death Metal and Grindcore.
This band is seemingly loved by everyone…except for me. I’ve seen them live twice before, and both times it seemed like there was something missing in the performance, and it’s the same on CD. Everything is there: venomous dual vocal attacks, hellacious drumming, HEAVY and blunt riffs and the overall sense of getting run over, repeatedly, by a steamroller. The guitars sometime go into the territory of chaos generally reserved for CRYPTOPSY, which contrasts with the mid-tempo chugging riffing that is quite prevalent on the record. The heaviness never lets up, and “The Ills Of Modern Man” just sounds like being pummeled for 40 minutes straight.
The problem, however, is that other than saying that it’s heavy as all hell; there is nothing else about this record that is a positive. There are no dynamics on this album, save for the tempo changes, but all of the music and performance is geared to bash the listener’s head in, and nothing more. After listening to “The Ills of Modern Man” numerous times, the wall of sound that DESPISED ICON bludgeoned me with left me wanting something. It left me wanting diversity, it left me wanting identifiable songs, and it left me wanting riffs and music that isn’t just heavy, but that is also intricate and memorable.
Other than the production, which is more than stellar (done by none other than Yannick St-Amand, who’s done work with NEURAXIS & BENEATH THE MASSACRE, amongst others), there isn’t much to say about this record other than “IT’S BRUTALLY HEAVY!” Try it out, though, see if you like it.
(Online July 12, 2007)