Signs of the Swarm – The Disfigurement of Existence (Review)

Signs of the SwarmThis is the second album from US deathcore/death metal band Signs of the Swarm.

Signs of the Swarm play crushing deathcore, mixing slamming death metal with vicious beats to good effect. With groovy brutality and punishing intensity, his album is an unrelenting 47 minutes of heavy aggression.

The deathcore template is a straightforward one, and it’s easy to come across as generic and uninspired. However, when a band get the formula right, it can be hideously enjoyable. Signs of the Swarm get the formula right way more than they don’t. This is achieved through their songwrting, riff selection, sense of dynamics, and inclusion of emotive/melodic aspects, (see below). Also, the palpable bloody enthusiasm and energy that they inject into the music comes across strongly and is quite infectious.

As alluded to above, one of the things that I also like about the band is that they occasionally mix things up a bit with some melody or atmosphere. These parts are the exception rather than the rule, but when they appear, (either blatantly taking over, or more subtly in the background of the dominant mayhem), they definitely enhance the songs.

The singer has a real talent for this kind of singing, and has a first-rate deathgrowl. To my ears a lot of deathcore singers sound very, very similar, as they try to find a middle ground between shouting and growling. The singer of Signs of the Swarm, however, just destroys the middle ground utterly and gives the most brutal performance he can, resulting in vocals that are well above the average.

Do you like death metal, but can’t stomach most of deathcore? There’s more than enough brutal death metal content on The Disfigurement of Existence to keep you happy. Do you like deathcore that’s on the more extreme end of the spectrum? You’ll love Signs of the Swarm.

Highly recommended.

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