If Skynet Were To Make Metal Music...
Review for the new EP from Strike Avenue, Dehumanized Interlude, check it out right here!
That headline isn't meant to be a joke, it's literally what comes to my mind when listening to the new EP from Strike Avenue. I'm not meaning anything the likes of Fear Factory or the sounds of machines warring with each other, but rather, a dystopian, bleak future is depicted as the almost inhuman, or robotic accuracy of melodic tech death meets deathcore music plays in the background, assuring you that all is not right here. The drums lend to this robotic sound that seems to mimic the feeling of a HK unit or a T-100 stalking you through a abandoned junk yard, this EP totally feels like a sci-fi horror film score, and I am quite enamored with it. Similar to my last review for Of, the Betrayer, this band also incorporates those symphonic elements that help elevate their music to higher levels and seals the deal with the overall musical presentation. So, let us grab up our plasma rifle, turn up the music, and let's go hunt some Terminators, as we explore Dehumanized Interlude from Strike Avenue, shall we?
First up is a track titled Lachesis Code. A classic deathcore intro and build up begins this rather interesting composition. This band seems to incorporate more of a tech death approach to their sound than most other deathcore bands I've listened to. But lo and behold, these guys seem to know how to write memorable riffs that compliment their guitar noodling! That is a huge pet peeve of mine with this style of metal, bands tend to not write driving riffs for their material, but rather just create songs that sound like wank fests trying to out do each other in not only their metal scene, but within the members of their own band instead of making a cohesive piece of music. Strike Avenue doesn't seem to have that issue as the riffs all flow nicely and carry the song well. Heavy as hell guitar work comes in with the force of nature while the drums bring a war-like punishment to the riffs as the orchestration expertly helps to pull it all together and fill the room with gusto, good job guys, let's check out the next one.
Dystopian Archetype comes out with all guns blazing next for this EP. I really dig the dual vocal layering this band utilizes, both vocal styles blend really well and is used to good effect. This track has some absolute killer riffs on it, especially during the mid song break down area, remember to wear your neck brace for this track because it hits quite hard and heavy. The symphonic delivery comes in towards the latter half of the song and sucks you in with it's demented Danny Elfman vibes before everything comes back in with a pummeling force to close out the song alongside a nice guitar solo that pushes this track over the top. This song is very well thought out with excellent pacing throughout.
The following track, Dehumanized Interlude, is not only the title track, but it feels like a direct continuation from the previous track. This one is a banger! Can I take a moment here to bring up those drums again, the pin pointed precision and laser guided accuracy that are delivered on the percussion tracks of this EP are quite fucking impressive, especially the symphonic movement in this song that the drums play along to, it's simply brilliant. Those orchestra hits add an extra layer of power and felling in this track. From a musical stand point, this track might be my favorite one so far.
Speaking of drums, a nice little drum intro starts off the next track, Blackened Ritual. This song gave me Fleshgod Apocalypse vibes big time, the only thing missing were those falsetto style vocals, but I'm not too big on those from Fleshgod if I'm being honest here, so no harm, no foul on the absence thereof. The song weaves to and fro with the riffs dancing back and forth with the orchestration until a rather savage break down occurs half way through the song that amps up the heaviness of this song building up to a rather powerful and emotional ending to this songs ride, complete with a nice guitar melody closing things out. Very well done, guys.
The final track of Dehumanized Interlude, is Perpetual Blood. Once again, I have to stress that I personally feel that these guys lean more towards the tech death genre than deathcore. Sure they have that deathcore sound, but the way Strike Avenue piece together their riff arrangements, and the riffs themselves, they sound more like a tech death band, and Perpetual Blood is a perfect example of what I mean. It may not be the likes of Cryptopsy or Origin by ways of the tech death approach, but it is definitely there and the deathcore element that Strike Avenue bring to the table definitely compliments their tech death style. This is a fantastic closer to this EP and holy fuckballs is the ending riff they fade out with a total slayer of a metal movement. This song was one helluva ride!
Strike Avenue is a rather intense band. But not in a negative aspect. The intensity they present is palpable and infectious. This EP's collection of songs has some of the best pacing I think I have heard from a tech death type band in a long while. So many times when it comes to these types of bands, they just seem to pummel and bludgeon you with the intensity and forget about the groove of killer riffs and of movements of sections of songs that drive the message home, plus Strike Avenue seem to know how to write great riffs that are memorable, which is important so the song doesn't just sound like some over the top, avantgarde, cliche' bullshit. They paint a picture with their music with the orchestration helping to deliver the story that they're trying to convey to the listener, while the riffs keep things alive and energetic. That is another key player here(no pun intended), is their keyboardist or whomever writes their orchestration, it truly does help bring these riffs and songs to life by breathing thick atmosphere to these songs. Strike Avenue's EP, Dehumanized Interlude is a rock solid 8.5 out of 10 on the banger scale. The music is written with such a detail oriented drive that it must be heard to understand what I'm trying to explain to all of you, it is quite the experience. You can hear their EP right here on their band camp here, or down below with their Youtube videos, and be sure to give them a follow on their social media pages here and show them your support, I have a feeling that their future isn't as bleak as their music content portrays.
Review done by Joshuah Jones, the bassist of The Obsidian Resurrection.