Day of Mourning
21 September 2009
by Tom Gibbons
It’s tempting to write this review using the amusing garbled French-English mash-up speak preferred by Quebec’s finest deathcore deniers, Despised Icon. The twin vocals of Alexandre Erian (screamy man), and Steve Marois (death-growler man), render the new album’s lyrics audibly indecipherable anyway, so why didn’t they just verse in their native French? Were they trying to sell more records that way?
Or was it because they feared denying us such treats in English lyrical dexterity as can be found on tracks like ‘MVP’? “I must fill the void / Your bedroom I enjoyed / Please don’t take this wrong / For you I wrote this song” – oh boy. Despised Icon could write in Urdu and sing in Italian for all we care, provided they buck their efforts up from that clanker.
Thankfully the Canadians have improved their variable fusion of approachable heavy stuff. Rather like a ‘new and improved’ iPod, the core functionality of Despised Icon might not have changed, but with Day of Mourning they can boasts of a couple of new underwhelming tricks. It’s sleeker, more refined, and slightly more cool, with the Montreal sextet conservatively cementing their existing sound, rather than re-inventing it.
Accordingly, the album’s production has a glorious sheen to it, setting it kilometres apart from 2007’s The Ills of Modern Man. They can thank resident producer (and former guitar player) Yannick St-Amand for that – it’s his sterling work that pushes the riffs beyond the realms of mediocrity. Where Despised Icon will venture artistically from here is difficult to imagine, but right now it’s all about Day of Mourning and how hard it’s gonna kick your derrière.
Watch the video to ‘Day of Mourning’ by Despised Icon
Like the output of so many of the deathcore contemporaries they deny having a connection to, Day of Mourning over-relies on beat-downs and breakdowns, almost to the point of embarrassment. The gang vocals are still a little cheesy (though not as much as that childish album cover…), but there’s still something enjoyable about this rudimentary metal experience.
Sounds like: Whitechapel, Job For A Cowboy, Salt the Wound
Top Tracks: MVP, Day of Mourning, All For Nothing
Despised Icon – Day of Mourning tracklisting
Les Temps Changent
Day of Mourning
All for Nothing
Made of Glass
Diva of Disgust
Entre Le Bien et Le Mal