Can changing your style from one heavy micro-genre to another be regarded as selling out? I’d be inclined to say, “no” as I don’t think this change has been influenced by money, but Wraiths have gone from being a pretty solid if unimaginative hardcore band to a full blown down-tuned, 7 string deathcore band on their latest EP Hollow. Sadly all this does is highlight exactly how dull and uninspired modern deathcore music has become.
The biggest stylistic shift comes in the form of the guitar work by Dan Charlton. On the band’s 2012 EP it was clear Charlton had a penchant for chugging a single chord but the man kept the music varied enough with frequent drops into big riffs and melodies that saved the music from becoming the tuneless melange of dirge that metalcore can often sound like.
Unfortunately we’re now staring directly at that exact problem and Hollow is loaded full of incessant one chord abuse and Limp Bizkit-esque dive-bomb slides. Hollow can only be described as an amalgamation of Hacktivist and Desolated and all the tuneless boredom that entails.
There are occasional glimpses of melody and Gravelord does a good job of including a great riff during its first verse but it soon returns to the down-tuned, dive-bomb mayhem that becomes overly familiar throughout the entire EP.
What’s apparent from Hollow is that these songs aren’t made to be de-constructed by a music critic because there’s not really a lot here to examine. What the band have done is made these songs for mosh pits. This sort of mindless, breakdown-heavy slop is made to wind hardcore kids up into a frenzy and that’s it. You can already envisage the band calling for crowd kill behaviour at their shows as you listen and quite frankly that’s not my sort of fun.
Wraiths have unwisely made the decision to maximise on beatdowns for their latest EP and it makes for a tiresome experience that is low on melody and big on DUN DUN DUN. If you want to discover the soundtrack to your worst crowd kill nightmare then this is it but if you wanted music with riffs, choruses and melodies then you should probably seek out an alternative. I hear Suicide Silence have a new album out soon.
Wraiths’ Hollow is released as a free download on the 14th of July.