Album Year: 2012
Location: Devon, United Kingdom
The definition of brutal is known as savagely violent, punishingly hard or uncomfortable, and direct and lacking any attempt to disguise unpleasantness. “Carving the Antichrist” is the exact definition of brutal. Everything about this EP is violent and in your face, from the vocalist to the instrumentation to the lyrics.
Condemned is a four man deathcore band from Devon, United Kingdom. This band takes its influences from an all-star cast of deathcore bands such as Whitechapel, Impending Doom, Oceano, among others. Condemned are reminiscent to Bound by Exile and early Thy Art is Murder.
The first thing that should catch the listener’s attention is the vocals of lead singer Gage Conway. His vocals are nothing short of ferocious. For the most part, Conway keeps with the lows while throwing in the occasional bloodcurdling high vocal. Luke from Bound by Exile does guest vocals towards the end of the title track. Luke goes above and beyond with his guest vocals, bringing even more savagery to the EP. It is one of those EP’s where the vocals truly match the intensity of the lyrics. The lyrics just spew hatred and violence, although the lyrics tend to fall into the prototypical deathcore cliché; ruthlessly torturing and killing someone, hating the government, and being anti-Christian. On that note, the album cover and the EP name is very cliché as well. An upside-down cross and calling yourself the antichrist is something that all deathcore fans have seen and/or heard before.
The instrumentation behind Conway continue the trend of an all-out barbaric assault. The band uses 8-stringed guitars but it is not “djenty” in any way. At first listen, it is hard to tell that they are even 8-stringed guitars. There are some parts of the EP that are little bit ‘groove-oriented,’ like the opening riff of “Four Faces of Hate,” and at the start of “Insanity,” but it is not nearly enough to be considered djent. This is still a straight up deathcore EP. Like most deathcore albums, there is more than a fair share of the three B’s; breakdowns, bass drops, and blast beats. It comes standard with any deathcore release but Condemned do it quite well. Now it is not just all deathcore cliché, there is some talent to be had here. The band also utilizes some technical riff elements, seen from their influence from All Shall Perish.
At the end of the day, this is a great deathcore EP. Will it get overshadowed by some of the other deathcore standouts such as Infant Annihilator and the aforementioned Bound by Exile? Yes. Does this EP overshadow many other deathcore bands? Absolutely. If the band can stay away from the standard deathcore clichés, then they will be a force to be reckoned with in the deathcore scene. If you are a fan of extremely brutal deathcore, make sure to pick this EP up. It is definitely worth a listen.