System Divide - The Conscious Sedation (Metal Blade/Riot)

And now for something completely different..well, perhaps not completely different but certainly a pretty exciting variation on some tried, tested and often a bit tired formats.
Release Date: 
14 Sep 2010 - 8:30am

Some people will press play on The Conscious Sedation, and dismiss it as yet more generic deathcore within thirty seconds of openedr Vagaries of Perception. However, these people would be imbeciles; let us not speak of them again. A gutteral vocal from former Aborted frontman Sven De Caluwe is married to a soaring female vocal from Miriam Milman in a pairing that works quite fucking superbly. 

If Within Temptation had a baby with Decapitated, who was then kidnapped by Eluveitie and raised in a cave by Trigger The Bloodshed, this is the result. A fucked up hybrid of savagery, melody, crushing power and soothing rhythms. An Intoxicating Affair moves away from the deathcore formula and adds guitar solos and a gentle, melodic outro. Echoes has moments of brilliance, particularly when Milman's gentle-yet-intense vocal is underpinned by thunderous double-kick work from Mike Heller. The Conscious Sedation is a constant mashup of musical genres; one minute your tree-dancing like some kind of gothic knobend and the next you've got your shirt off and are smashing the crap out of other bare chested, circle-pitting mentalists.

One criticism of The Conscious Sedation is that the pace slows so much mid-album that the momentum goes. Hollow, whilst a good song in it's own right, could be from any Lacuna Coil outing. Thankfully, Purity in Imperfection and Repentiforget follow, both of which are absolute belters. 

System Divide avoid constantly using the obvious harsh verse/clean chorus vocal arrangement so although there is clearly a structure, you're never 100% what's coming next. And that's the beauty of this album; it's unpredictable. The only thing you can be sure of is that each song is an awesome chunk of deathfolkgothcore.

The Conscious Sedation is out now on Metal Blade/Riot