Location: Watford, UK
EP Year: 2013
The UK deathcore and hardcore has been a bit stale as of late, but Watford-based deathcore outlet Beneath The Wake seek to change that with their debut EP ‘Synethic Creation’. Formed in August 2012, their aim is to return to the roots of the genre with nu-school influences from hardcore, thrash and groove. Taking influences from bands like Despised Icon, The Acacia Strain and Hatebreed, you can expect to hear some flat-out brutality on this EP…and it hits you harder than Hulk.
The opening number to this ballad of brutality is ‘Archons’, serving as a precursor to this EP and like I’ve seen with many other EP’s, containing atmospheric sound effects, soaring symphonic melodies and themes of thunder and paranormal sounds. However, also like many other EP’s, the next track abruptly begins after a lengthy build up and the listener is smacked in the face with a downtuned, chugging, precise riff and a slow yet powerful drum track. This track is artfully named ‘Apparitions Of Guilt’. The riffs seem perfectly normal and rather generic, consisting of palm muted chords, ear splitting string bends and pinch harmonics, and some tremolo picking just to sweeten the mix on offer. The drum tracks on this EP seem a little quiet and muted, with not much definition from the snare or cymbals coming through the speakers, with the bass pedal also being rather lost in production. I feel like this lets some of the riffs down, as they require that slamming sound to them that they just don’t quite get – a shame.
The third track, ‘Illusions Of Free Choice’, begins to change the EP into a more mature, old school sounding deathcore release. The riffs are a lot more complex and involve a lot of different sounds and tones, and the vocals really begin to come into a league of their own. The vocalist, James Jest, has a certain echoing tone to his vocals that seems to resonate throughout the EP. The vox really make this EP sound old school, with the growls sounding incredibly hate-filled, and mids sounding like James is bellowing at the listener. There is not much in the way of high screams on this EP, but that is inkeeping with the classic deathcore sound.
‘The Shadows Nocturne’ is the fourth number on this EP. This track contains a lot of the same in the way of the riff structures and progressions, the fairly muted drum work and raging vocals. I struggle to find anything outstanding on this track, but don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to listen to some proper, ‘back-in-the-day’ deathcore. The final two tracks, ‘Leech Trauma’ and ‘Mortal Gods’ are, at some points, played at a considerably higher tempo and pace than the previous tracks. Also contained on these final two, some really distinctive shout/mid vox that really push the angst-filled raging sound of the EP and self-proclaimed style of the band.
it’s not often I see bands aspiring to produce ‘old-school’ and ‘classic’ deathcore, but Beneath The Wake have done this very well and shown the genre that sometimes, it’s good to go back to your roots. I only wish there was more variety in the tracks, rather than the same with a bit added on each time around. An EP well worthy of any loyal deathcore fan’s library.