Band : Signs of The Swarm
Album/EP : Vital Deprivation
Label : Unique Leader
Location : Pittsburgh, PA
FFO : Shadow of Intent, Slaughter to Prevail, Spite
I heard some Pre-production demos of this record (Thanks Jimmy!), and I knew it was going to be heavy. But I didn’t know it was going to be THIS heavy. Each track brilliantly displays the bands evolving song writing skills. Each member has grown their skills, while still maintaining a deathcore style. That, to me, is the shining element of Vital Deprivation. Jimmy’s live drums on the record sound monstrous. The guitar/bass tones from Cory, Jacob, and Bobby might be their lowest tones yet. Then there is David. I’ve heard him live a few times, and that was good then. I never really knew his skill, because I feel like some vocalists sound different live, as compared to in studio. There were definitely a few times where David’s vocals made me say, “Holy shit”. The mix is perfect. It definitely passes the infamous car audio test.
The song structures are a bit different compared to their older material. I feel as there is more of an actual structure in these tracks. There are definitely a few chorus and verse arrangements, which I feel is almost rare in this genre. Despite all of the blast beats, each track seems to have a moderate groove to them. Nothing too fast that the ear can’t find a beat. But also nothing too slow, where you get bored. It’s just the right amount of speed/slow breakdown. I don’t think there is one single theme of the record.
Now, on to the replay value of Vital Deprivation. As of this moment, while writing this review, I’m at 65 plays since I received it almost 2 months ago. Not only are these guys some of my good friends, but they are talented as all hell. I was a fan of them when I first heard “Mouth Sewn Prophets”, and I’ll be a fan no matter what direction they go. One reason I love the record so much is David’s vocals. Don't get me wrong, CJ’s vocals are what caught my ear back when Senseless Order dropped. I’m pretty positive it was the same for all of us. Then when they put out The Disfigurement of Existence, you could tell CJ was experimenting with different vocal ranges, which is something I love to see. But David’s vocal abilities take this band to a whole new level. He does have some similarities with CJ, but the way he enunciates and arranges the words is exactly what the band was missing. I don’t have a least favorite part of the record.
Compared to Disfigurement there were a couple minor changes. The live recorded drums definitely make the album sound bigger. That was a smart thing for them to do. The guitar tones sound like they were dropped a notch, which gives the album an almost nefarious vibe. There’s something dark about the record, and I fucking love it. David’s vocals compared to CJ’s are definitely the most obvious change. Both are absolutely fantastic in their own perspective rights.
Overall, this record is completely insane. It’s got the heavy as fuck break downs we are used to, but there is a bit more structure in the overall song writing. The drums are just nasty, and I still don’t understand how Jimmy does the alternating blast beat thing with the hi-hat. That just blows my mind, but it fits in so well with the music. This record is a step in the right direction towards finding their distinctive sound and I believe they are just about there. If you have been following this band, and have seen them live recently, you know they have worked their ass off to write the best material they can. I can wholeheartedly say this is their best record so far, and I can’t wait to see what their future holds. Great job guys, love ya dudes.
Star Rating: 10/10
Strongest Song: Lost Within Reflection, Crown of Nails