Here Comes The Kraken – Hate, Greed and Death (2011)

Posted: May 23, 2011 in Music

I don’t review a lot of deathcore releases on this site. It’s not because I don’t like deathcore. As a matter of point, with the recent gain in popularity of deathcore, I find myself listening to more and more bands of the genre. The problem I run across as a critic is that the classification is for a pretty distinct sound, and I fear each review would sound just like the last.

“(Insert deathcore band name here) has just released it’s latest record (insert album name here.) Through the growling vocals, pig squeals, hammering bass lines, frenetic guitar, and blazing double-bass drum assault, it’s obvious these guys do deathcore well.”

That would get old. Fast. So unless a deathcore band does something a little outside of the box, don’t expect to see them covered here. We love you, Acacia Strain. We own all your albums, All Shall Perish. We are coming to see you live, Whitechapel. I’m just not going to give the scene a lot of press at The Nutwork. To review one and not all of them would be like feeding and petting Blitzen while ignoring the other eight reindeer. Not good form.

However, I just finished listening to the latest CD from Here Comes The Kraken. Formed in Aguascalientes, Mexico, these newcomers to the deathcore scene have finally delivered something worth talking about. After their first release in 2009, it was simple enough just to drop these guys into the deathcore pit with hundreds of their counterparts – good music, but very predictable when considering the scene. They gave us an EP in 2010, and again, it was a “monkey-see monkey-do” approach that while not bad, was completely benign of anything truly unique. When the new record – Hate, Greed and Death – was dropped in my lap, I knew two things:

1. I was going to listen to it (and probably enjoy it), and
2. I wasn’t going to review it.

Sometime between then and this very moment, something drastically changed. Here Comes The Kraken isn’t your everyday deathcore band anymore, and the change may just modify the deathcore scene as we know it.

Not that transforming the true deathcore sound is completely unheard of. Winds of Plague (a Nutwork favorite) is currently fusing deathcore elements with black metal lyrics and and almost gothic sound, but what Kraken is doing is something much different and, for my taste, far more interesting. For starters, they added two members to the fray. But instead of the normal additional guitar and keyboard player add-ons, they brought on a clean-singing vocalist and – wait for it – a turntable DJ. The result is not only genre-defying: it’s triumphant as well.

If deathcore had anything going against it, it was the near incoherent vocals. Unless you were fluent in grizzly bear, it was impossible to catch any lyrical messages from 99% of the bands. The fix? Add a singer to share singing duties that flows his vocals like he’s auditioning for Linkin Park. Suddenly the songs become much more accessible for the listener. Don’t be mistaken, the growls and grunts are still here – and in abundance – but the trade off to the clear vocals only adds to the experience. On top of all that, Kraken now also has the occasional “scratch” on top of many of their tracks. The result is the bastard child of a Slipknot/Job For A Cowboy union – and even though it shouldn’t work, it does. It’s still deathcore, but the jigger of nu-metal thrown in only makes the lightning-quick drums and gut-crunching guitars feel even more powerful.

The new elements have also forced a much cleaner production value, and that improvement helps every aspect of the band. It’s been a long time since I’ve used the words “clean production” and “deathcore” in the same sentence, but that’s the only way to really describe this album. It remains heavy and dirty, but somehow has a memorable, shiny coat of gloss on it that has taken Here Comes The Kraken to the next level. A little less technical than their previous efforts, but the changes in style has more than made up for it.

There are some anticipated releases on the horizon for the deathcore scene (most notably The Black Dahlia Murder’s June release Ritual), but don’t let this record pass you by. It’s only 33 minutes in length, but it just may be the most fun you’ll have this year listening to this style of music.

9/10

Tracklist:
01. 3:33 A.M.
02. Never Regret
03. Knights From South Side
04. A New Leader
05. Nu Beginning
06. 90666
07. Beverly Hell
08. Stoner Sundays
09. Idrugs

Buy At Amazon: Here

MySpace: Link | Facebook: Link

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