Metalcore is a tricky little child of a creature. If you’re Unearth or Architects, you don’t have to beg much to get people moving, because that’s what good metalcore deserves and receives. Nevertheless, there’s a fine line between lyrics that make your skin crawl with power and destruction of souls and plain production of what you think metalcore fans want. (Hint hint; it’s not just a formula of ominous guitar riffs, screaming, breakdowns, and melodic singing.) So, let’s examine the facts and figures of Montreal’s locally grown Suicide for a King’s EP release Ocean Within, with a little more tact than others might care to. Let me grab my graduates’ hat.
Kicking off the album is “Unknown Reflect,” of pure eclectic instrumentals, and we’re off to a great start. Giving real prog metal vibes is a sure sign of elaborate thought processes, right? Well, we can be a little less than hopeful for the rest of the album, which kind of begs to have gone in a more emotionally developed direction, because the band is obviously good at instrumentals and understands quite well what good song progression means.
My brutal honesty is this: I had the serious feels, and my mind was opening like a flower awaiting a bee to comb my brain pollen and take it to other worlds, but it was lost with the eventual descending into what the aforementioned metalcore formula can become, So, I can’t stop myself from saying this, but seeing this band go in more of a prog metal direction could be a really great thing. Their “melodic metal” definition could be a key to their possible future. That’s where their goldmine could be waiting. I’m convinced they can be more than just imprecise lyrics about honour and sacrifice, and delve into their technical musical talents; firstly, because the guitar solos are more than decent the entire way through this EP (great timing and great technical effort on the part of guitarists Frederik De Celles and Raphaël Stooke, with support from drummer Marc-André Lépine, and bassist Emile-Loup T. Gravel), and secondly because their music writing is on the right track to becoming a technical dream, accompanied by a clear understanding of harmony. This seems like a much more interesting path for me. I’ll even go as far as stating the possibly obvious, jazzy chords make me giddy. Give me more jazz chords. The hint of them in the background just makes me wonder why they weren’t more on display.
That said, the darkness and mysterious tone of the album leaves me in a bit of good faith, hoping to hear more from the band’s theoretically pleasing qualities. The rest, I am not so sure about needing at all. EPs are exactly for this purpose; trials and errors, and discoveries of great possibilities. If you’d like to see these guys in action, you can check them out at COOP Katacombes on April 21st, 2019 and Piranha Bar on May 9th, 2019.
Written by Talia Plante
*edited by Mike Milito