Italians THE MODERN AGE SLAVERY bring us their first full-length release, “Damned To Blindness”, in a style that seems all American. Blending faster Death Metal stylings and dissonance with chugging brutality and breakdowns, its an incredibly typical Deathcore release.
Often anything -core related gets a band reputation from metalhead “purists”, and its albums that have seemingly been heard and made a million times that do this. Sadly, this album doesn't help the case much. One thing the album really suffers from is the lack of importance to rhythm. The band often tries to show a more melodic side (in a Death Metal sense) that sometimes reminds of a less technical NEURAXIS. However most songs also contain the low, brutal chugging and breakdowns associated with Metalcore and Hardcore, that give the album more of a Death Metal + breakdowns feel, than a seamless blend into Deathcore. Perhaps this is being a little bit picky, but I think breakdowns can be great when used right, but they almost seem to be thrown in as an afterthought over the course of this album, and take away from some of the pace the songs pick up.
In fact, the strongest song on the album is also their most experimental: “Purple”. Containing plenty of chugging, they slow things down and combine heavy hitting, with the mix of brutality and blasting, as well as some cool harmonies that make for a really wicked track, definitely taking a cue from MESHUGGAH.
Deathcore often serves as a great midway point to crazy Death Metal riffs and a more simple heaviness of -core genres, however this album simply doesn't try blend things well, and they might be better off getting rid of breakdowns entirely. It should be noted that the band have great production, and are really tight, not to mention some of the heavier parts are indeed quite brutal. Die hard Deathcore fans might really enjoy this, and the band does show some promise, it just doesn't do enough new to particularly whet my appetite.
(Online February 12, 2009)