Despised Icon - Purgatory

Band : Despised Icon

Album/EP : Purgatory

Genre: Deathcore/Death Metal 

Label : Nuclear Blast

Location : Montreal

FFO : Through The Eyes of The Dead, The Acacia Strain, Beneath The Massacre

When you listen to a record, do you pay attention to how songs are written/arranged? Despised Icon have definitely grown in that department since their formation in 2002. The production on this record is just as good as their last one “Beast”. What I think stands out the most, is just how well Alex and Steve can bounce their vocals back and forth. I’m sure a lot of bands try dual vocals, but it doesn’t always work out. Alex’s mid-range vocals have gotten a bit of a lower after tone to them in the recent years. Steve’s “BREEEEEEEE’s” are honestly just some of the best in the game. The mix was amazing. You can hear every drum hit, every guitar note, and any samples perfectly. 

The flow of the record is pretty typical. Each track seems to have a chorus/verse/chorus/breakdown/chorus arrangement. But here’s the thing, for Despised Icon, it works. I feel if a D.I. record wasn’t laced with some brutal breakdowns, it wouldn’t be the same. They are known for having some of the best breakdowns in deathcore. 

I’m not too sure about a theme. I feel most of their records never really had a constant theme. But like I’ve said many times before, that’s totally okay. Not every band needs to talk about the atrocities of religion, or how politics has fucked the world. I’m sure they touch on those topics, but I can’t tell any definite themes.

If you love the band, Purgatory will easily find a way in to your daily mix. With hard hitting tracks like “Purgatory” and “Snake In The Grass”, this record is full of ass beaters. My favorite part of the record is how the opening track “Dernier Souffle” blends right into “Purgatory”. It just shows that D.I. is coming out of the gate swinging with this record. I can’t find a least favorite part of the record. I personally can’t spot anything wrong with it. The band is basically veterans at this point, so they know what they are doing.

Now I did notice a couple things that are different from Beast. I feel the overall mix of the record is just a tad higher on Purgatory. Not that Beast had a bad mix, I just feel that Purgatory is a bit bigger sounding. I also feel that Purgatory has at least one breakdown in every song. Beast has a break down in half the record. Does a band NEED to have a break down? No, of course not. But I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t be disappointed if their next record had no breakdowns. 

Overall, Purgatory is definitely their strongest record. Starting with the ass-beater title track, and slowly fading out with Dead Weight. Purgatory is showing these new school deathcore kids that Despised Icon are kings for a reason. Full of blast beats and brutal fight riffs, D.I. are back again with yet another classic record.

Star Rating: 10/10

Strongest Song: Snake In The Grass

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