UK band DEATHFLUX is a fairly recent formation. They started out at the start of 2016, and released an initial EP just a few weeks after they became an official entity. “Execrated” is their debut album, and was self released in the spring of 2018.
What we’re dealing with here is a metal band, and one that appears to try to explore metal from a couple of new angles at that. Which, presumably, is why the band have coined their own genre description: Dystopian metal. A novel attempt that one, but as far as making dystopian music these guys still have a wee bit to learn in my opinion.
That being said, this is dark music, which of course isn’t a new thing when we’re talking about metal. Dark, angry and intense is perhaps how I’d summarize the moods and atmospheres explored here. As far as metal sub-genres are concerned, well, I’ll stress the plural form of the word here as this is a beast with quite a few different heads to it.
The vocals will probably define this band in the minds of many listeners. In this case we have two of them, one that excel in talk-like and clean shouted vocals, and one that excel in raspier shouted vocals and growls. The former providing flavors of nu metal and hardcore respectively, the latter hardcore and extreme metal. They tend to opt for a hardcore oriented mode of delivery though, and due to that I guess the word metalcore will be appropriate to mention here as something of a key expression.
On the instrument side of things this band does reach out a bit further however. Staccato industrial tinged constructions sit side by side with repetitive hardcore oriented escapades. Flowing, gnarly thrash metal passages is a recurring element, occasionally taking a side course into a more regular heavy metal oriented landscape. Technical, mathematical side trips and bouncy, djent-tinged arrangements appear now and then too, and the band doesn’t shy away from some challenging, quirky instrument details to top it all off either. There’s a lot going on, and most of it is dark and quite a lot of it gnarly. The guitar solo runs tends to have a cleaner sound though, possibly as a planned contrast to the grittier riffs, bass and vocals.
At last I should probably throw in that the use of multiple style details and the shifts in the songs that comes due to this kind of adds a progressive aspect to this album as well, and that the band occasionally will hit upon a more extreme metal oriented mode of delivery as well. If not purebred in form then at least in intensity.
It takes a lot of skill to blend in as many elements in their music as Deathflux does. It is ambitious and expressive, and honing the skills to get the balance just right takes time to develop. As far as I’m concerned this is a band still in development, and due to that my impression as that this album is one that will have more of a niche appeal. As far as a suggested audience goes, I’d hazard a guess that those who find descriptions such as extreme progressive metalcore to be alluring might want to take the time to give this one a spin.
My rating: 60/100