Dethrone The Sovereign have garnered attention for their take on progressive deathcore, implementing neoclassical shred, symphonic embellishments and keys for a sound they’ve been refining since their inception in 2008. After the release of two EPs, the group have teamed up with Famined Records for their debut full-length, Harbingers of Pestilence, which will be available on July 28. Dethrone The Sovereign’s Harbingers of Pestilence is a fast, fun record that is equally heavy and melodic.
The two-song suite “Era of Deception Pt I” and “Era of Deception Pt II” opens the album in a welcome and unexpected way. For a band that has been previously based on deathcore and neoclassical elements, this suite incorporates clean guitars and melodies that are more akin to Periphery or Intervals than their previous catalogue. The group is also not afraid to explore their instrumental leanings, as the second part is completely devoid of Jake Vancil’s screams. In fact, this second segment delves into jazzy rhythms as well as upbeat synths and jovial, wandering keys courtesy of Jake Laskowski.
They return to their typical neoclassical form after this ambitious excursion with “Perennial Eclipse” – haunting piano lines intermingle with tight chugs and blast beats for a sound that fans of Nexilva or A Night In The Abyss will certainly enjoy. However, the melodic lead lines and harmonized sections set the group apart with the neoclassical influence of The Human Abstract.
Title track “Harbingers of Pestilence” opens with a quintessentially ‘djent’ rhythm before staccato symphonic stabs and aggressive arpeggios overwhelm the track in an excellently epic way. The song climaxes quickly and segues into a key-driven interlude that incorporates the influence of tastefully atmospheric symphonic blackgaze group So Hideous. We are then driven back into the group’s technical and symphonic sound.
The previously released “The Vitruvian Augmentation” highlights Laskowski’s arranging prowess with a variety of intermingling strings set against a driving riff and Nick Mason’s impressive guitar work. Single “Torch of Prometheus” again evokes a So Hideous vibe in an almost effortless symphonic soundscape, quickly intensifying into a half-time riff that passes quickly but is one of the highlights of the album. Harbingers of Pestilence’s final third is concluded with the two-minute nylon string interlude “Apostasy” and the brief but impactful “The Eternal Void”. The latter track starts with clean thumps à la Animals As Leaders before the group’s signature sound closes out the record.
At nine tracks and thirty-four minutes, this album is far from overstaying its welcome. In fact, there is a great number of unique ideas here that don’t necessarily receive the time to fully germinate. Unfortunately, these unique elements are sometimes interspersed with less-than-punchy production and a deathcore style that isn’t always distinguishable between tracks. Thankfully, Dethrone The Sovereign’s attention to dynamics, atmosphere and composition ensure that nothing becomes too repetitive or uninspired. Harbingers of Pestilence is an admirable debut that introduces the group’s signature sound while indicating their future potential.
Notable Tracks: “Era of Deception Pt II”; “Harbingers of Pestilence”; “The Vitruvian Augmentation”
FFO: Nexilva, So Hideous, The Human Abstract