For Fans Of
You have to feel slightly sorry for As Blood Runs Black. In a relatable kind of way the band were like the prized number one footy draft pick. Backtrack to 2006 and the group were raw, chock full of potential and seemed the pick of the fast rising young, aspiring deathcore pile.
However, like the sports star that is unluckily crippled with serious and unfortunate injuries early on, ABRB have suffered a similar fate through ill-timed member changes and various in-band conflict.
Sure the band is back now with a steady line-up. And sure the fundamentals and skilled musical repertoire are still existent. It’s just previous incidents have inevitably taken their toll to the point that although executed well, the overall result comes across as a shadow of past achievements.
Adopting a mirror contrast, listen to this album next to the new All Shall Perish song and you can begin to see the differences between a solid effort (‘Instinct‘) and what currently ranks as the best in this genre (‘All Shall Perish‘). It’s not to say that ‘Instinct‘ is bad, it just feels like this is the album that in a perfect world the band would’ve liked to have made 2-3 years ago. Music is a brutal game. What was once fresh and original can fast become stale and derivative in the blink of an eye.
Musically and performance wise, ‘Instinct‘ is decisively better than most current deathcore bands. The re-introduction of drummer Lech is a big plus, with the musician really holding down the fort for all things technical and precise. ‘Resist‘ is a buffet of blast beats and breakdowns and ‘Angel City Gamble‘ is again heavy with some trademark blistering double kick work and screeching vocals. But the rest of the album just feels like a re-hashed structure of the aforementioned ideals. ‘King of Thieves‘ begins very haphazardly before transforming itself into a memorable dose of considered deathcore while ‘Echoes of an Era‘ is a little too similar sounding.
Don’t view this as a scathing indictment of ‘Instinct‘. The album has its moments and is mostly enjoyable but as a whole it just feels compromised (however slight it may be) by past events.
Skill-wise ‘Instinct’ is impressively crafted. Individually and on face-value this is a competent release. However, as a blanket statement ‘Instinct’ is not a progression nor an improvement on ‘Allegiance’ and unfortunately in this current state of heavy music anything less is going to be met with a mixed response.
4. Angel City Gamble
8. King Of Thieves
9. In Honor
10. Echoes of An Era