It’s official, Despised Icon is back. The Quebecois Deathcore machine has announced Monday that they were scheduled to play some shows as part of the touring Impericon festival with Hatebreed and… Emmure. However, despite being associated with the most hated genre of metal next to nu-metal, Despised Icon have always proven their capability to stand tall outside of that mine field of awfulness by putting out quality music for fans of brutal metal and showing more integrity than most. Here are ten reason why you should welcome them back with open arms, or finally get over their association with Emmure and co.
01 – The ills of modern man
On their third album, the quebecois hit the jackpot by putting out an album full of anthem. In the arms of perdition introduce the album with a staccato double bass rhythm that brings the song to it’s first breakdown, establishing very quickly the kind of brutality to be expected. Then, every track seems to outdo the previous one with A fractured hand being one of the most memorable song with a break that continues to brings a dramatic atmosphere to the room when it’s played, preparing whoever still needed to warned that an onslaught of moving bodies is going to explode in the room.
02 – Three consistent albums
Even if they hit their stride on In the arms of perdition, Despised Icon have put out three excellent albums full of powerful and dynamic songs. After a messy debut that barely resembles the music they then started to play with The healing process, they proceeded to push their own limits in terms of intensity while still keeping a unique attitude thanks to a rhythm focused approach to Death metal.
03 – Dynamism
Often mocked and associated with the worst of slam death because of their New Era caps, Despised Icon always had much more to do with Rap than most band in the genre because of their use of syncopated rhythm instead of the robotic regularity of every Deathcore band on the planet. Despised Icon attack is ever changing but as hard as a ton of bricks, if that same ton of bricks was falling on your in the catchiest way possible.
04 – Dual vocal attack
Whereas most band who uses two singer get one to scream and another one to sing, making their songs sound like a collage of two different bands, Despised Icon always focused on diversifying their attack. Both singer have a distinctive voice which brings some excellent variation to their down tuned attack. Steve Marois goes for a more screamo type of scream coupled with some pig squeals of voice whereas Alex Erian barks with a hardcore style as well as some deep growls. This variety of screams make the song more surprising and underline the many breaks the songs possess.
05 – French lyrics that don’t sound stupid
They even introduced lyrics in French in their songs on their last album, which was to be expected considering their enthusiasm to play in France and meet their « cousin » as they used to say. What was truly surprising on the other hand is that they manage to make the language switch that smooth when most french speaking band with Hardcore influence struggle to make their native tongue sound anything but forced.
06 – Because they truly deserve to be called a Deathcore band
This diversity of style made them truly deserving of being called a Deathcore band. Like Suffocation and Dying Fetus, the godfathers of the style, Despised Icon is a Death metal band with some true Hardcore influence and not just some breakdown added in between bland down tuned riffs like most bands of the ilk.
07 – Live consistency
It’s that dynamism and diversity that always made their live shows such intense experience. Like Suffocation who are unstoppable on stage because of their fantastic knowledge of how to make Death metal as brutal as it is entertaining, Despised Icon are kings on stage who hammer down riffs after riffs with the same precision, energy and bouncing vitality.
08 – Bringing brutality with a smile on their face
Despite playing a style of music associated with macho stance, crossed arms and tough guy attitudes, Despised Icon have always demonstrated the opposite attitude on stage. Screaming their lungs out with huge smiles on their face and jumping around in sync with their riffs, they never looked the poster boy for dumb violence but a bunch of friends who were there to party.
09 – Quitting before repeating themselves
Finally, Despised Icon didn’t overstay their welcome. They released four albums over the span of eight years and quit to focus on their personal lives. Alex Erian stayed in the public eye by forming a more Hardcore focused band called Obey the Brave and putting out some good albums. Guitarist Eric Jarrin also came back to Heaven’s Cry, a Progressive metal that he had quit in 2004 to focus more on Despised Icon. All other members had stayed mostly quiet but they had never completely turned the page and continued to play some occasional shows.
10 – Because they seem to really enjoy playing together
But, like any band of brothers, they can never truly stay apart and it’s now time to do it all again. Contrary to a lot of bands who only come back for the money, it seems that Despised Icon are also back for the fun of playing together, as proven by the return of original guitarist, Yannick St Amand (who had quit in 2006), and to their fans. As they proved last year at the Ghostfest in Bristol, the band has not lost anything since their breakup so their comeback will be like they never left. It’s time to party again!
The band will play the following shows in Europe as announced on their Facebook page
22/04/16 – Germany, Oberhausen @ Turbinenhalle
23/04/16 – Germany, Leipzig @ Agra
01/05/16 – Netherlands, Amsterdam @ Melkweg
02/05/16 – UK, Manchester @ Academy
03/05/16 – UK, London @ 02 Forum Kentish Town
04/05/16 – France, Paris @ Cabaret Sauvage
05/05/16 – Switzerland, Zurich @ X-Tra
06/05/16 – Austria, Vienna @ Arena
07/05/16 – Germany, Munich @ Zenith