Any metalcore fan with a little bit of pride about a style that is so commonly shit on will tell you that there’s nothing more frustrating than trying to spread the genre just to hear the words, “Whatever, dude, it just sound like metalcore.” Theres a sense of individualism that’s been lost and in the event that I pick up a record and find myself saying the same thing, a certain and special kind of rage builds in me that is reserved for things like people who don’t tip their bartenders, or piss on the toilet seat. You’re part of the fucking problem with humanity and I want to literally skull fuck you. (Okay, maybe too far, but that’s for my therapist to decide.) What I do get to decide today is whether or not I enjoy a metalcore effort known ironically enough as Evolve or Decay by Overthrone out of Birmingham, UK.
Addressing the elephant in the room (aka my very obvious substance abuse issues if I’m actually seeing an elephant in a room at any given point), 2018 has seen some serious releases in music as a whole, metalcore included. It’s sink or swim out there, and if you’re not really listening to your record and thinking, “Am I doing something better or different here?” then you’re just stroking your Instagram account ego at the end of the day. Evolve or Decay Isn’t by any means a record that breaks grounds or raises bars. If you dig bands like Emmure, Fit for a King, or Erra, then sure, you’re going to jive with Overthrone. It’s tough guy, beat-down metalcore with a couple of pretty choruses that sound like they’ve got William DuVall belting at them. (As much as I dig Alice in Chains, this is a bit out of place).
By now you’ve either chucked the intensely expensive electronic device that you’re using to read this out of the window due to your utter hatred overdose from my cuntery, or you’re clinging on to it whilst drooling over the next punchline. Here’s a surprise; I don’t hate this release because of the fact that effort was actually made here (albeit maybe in the wrong places). The album’s recording quality is at least stellar enough to call it professional standard (although the vocal layering leaves a little to be desired in terms of realistic value). Time went into twisting nobs and making this a polished piece, and money went into spitting out a top-quality music video for “Into the Abyss.” This band obviously has the drive and the means they need to make it to where they wanna go, and for that they get a tip of the hat.
If 2018 had a basic metalcore guide, then this record would touch on all of its points: stoic 4/4 across the board, tough guy “One, two, three, four” vocal patterns leading into crab-dance breakdowns and coated in palm muted guitar tones… don’t make me keep going here. If you wanna say originality is my issue, then so be it. I want this record to be better, and I know the drive is there, but if I’m going to listen to something in this vein of metalcore, then why wouldn’t I just bump the last FFAK record? Yes dude, support your local scene, but local scenes still need to be able to stand and bang with the big boys in this neverending underdog story. I don’t wanna listen to your shit and think somebody else did it better, I want to listen to your shit and say, “This isn’t just metalcore, it’s Overthrone.” What’s the fucking point otherwise?
Written by Jason Greenberg
*edited by Kate Erickson