• Vince

Within Destruction - Yōkai

Band: Within Destruction

Album: Yōkai

Genre: Slamming Deathcore

Label: Unique Leader Records

Location: Slovenia, Europe

FFO: Brand of Sacrifice, Enterprise Earth, Signs of The Swarm

Within Destruction exploded into the scene in 2012 with their debut ‘From The Depths’ but began to pick up a lot of traction with their past couple records, starting with ‘Void’ in 2016. Then their 2018 album ‘Deathwish’ collected even more ears. Leading us to where we are now with their highly anticipated, Japanese folklore/culture themed, 4th LP, ‘Yōkai’. We of course get the best production Within Destruction has ever had. Punching instruments accompanied by punishing vocals. All mixed together well, but in a brutal... interesting fashion.

Right off the bat Yōkai delivers an unusual intro. Well, unusual for the band, but nothing I was turned off by. The intro track is a bass heavy trap sound that leads into the first real, self titled song. But even the beginning to this track is rather off for their style. That is until they kick things into gear. So far, even though it’s a different intro, it’s a solid one. Now, there’s a lot to be said about this first song that I think could be said for most of the others. It’s different. It’s much more towards Deathcore than the “slamming” side of things. When it comes to my taste, that is not a bad thing at all. I went into this album not having high hopes because I wasn’t a big fan to begin with, but this first song (and others) caught me off guard not just with sound, but how much I enjoyed it. The second song continues with the trap style beat theme and even features rapping from guest vocals. Yea… This was one of my least favorite songs in general for other reasons so I couldn’t be upset about it. But I’d imagine long time fans are very confused at this point. Moving forward, you can expect the very dirty breakdowns and beyond fast blast beats (that are obviously not real) you’re used to just with more crazy guitar sounds and audio effects. They certainly took it to the next level when it comes to spicing things up outside of their normal sound. The trap/electronic themes pop up, even a little bit of “cleaner” vocals like on ‘Alone’. Lyrically I am a hit or miss on these tracks. Most are pretty standard, but then there’s very typical/cringey lyrics such as ‘Harakiri’ or ‘Hate Me’. There’s a couple times they step away from the folklore theme of the whole thing which I didn’t like, but the times when they did embrace it made me enjoy it even more. I especially enjoyed the actual Japanese spoken lyrics. This album ends in an odd way - two instrumental songs. The first one featuring a guitar master, Jason Richardson, and the second being an electronic instrumental. Both coming after the rather unpleasant ‘B4ANGB4NG!!’. A weird way to end an album, but I didn’t hate it, just left me unfulfilled.

The replay value on this album is very dependent on how you enjoy what they’ve done here. I know that sounds obvious, but I specifically mean the change ups they brought to their sound. If you love it, this is a very easy album to throw into your rotation. If you are indifferent, it could be a one and done. I personally can appreciate it and enjoy this sound more-so than their previous efforts. The main differences being the electronics, the rapping, and the “slamming” aspect being mostly absent. All which oddly enough makes up my favorite but also some of my least favorite moments on the LP. Overall though, an improvement to me. But I can easily see why this would be a complete downgrade to some fans.

There’s a handful of aspects I didn’t enjoy here, but I can’t help but say I mostly enjoyed it for some reason. I didn’t like the trap mixed in at times, I didn’t like some of the lyrics, the fake kicks were a little annoying, and there’s a couple songs that are just duds. But hell… the good about Yōkai is awesome. I think if they kept heading in this direction, they could get much better at this sound they attempted. Better than I was expecting, different, a little confusing, but nothing great.

Rating: 7/10

Strongest Song: Yōkai

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/4XaJxO78V0VBnmK56KNm0J?si=WPAKM1XeSqCvlwC9qUrMRg

Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/within-destruction/550633908

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