The Big Jazz Duo – Enemy (Review)

The Big Jazz DuoThe Big Jazz Duo arre from Italy and this is their début album.

Looking at the album cover and knowing the band’s name, you’d probably never guess that they play Death Metal. But they do; Experimental/Atmospheric Death Metal/Deathcore.

This is sickeningly heavy with grooves and breakdowns aplenty. Speed and brutality are also present, as are pignoise vocals and scathing screams.

There’s a Djent aspect to their sound too, which seems to go hand-in-hand with a lot of Deathcore.

The band also include orchestral interludes, atmospheric sections and the like in their sound, which immediately makes them more interesting and raises their game.

Deathcore and Djent are two sub-genres that can get very stale, very quickly, if not handled well. The Big Jazz Duo avoid this trap by mixing these up with more traditional Death Metal and a melodic edge, as well as the more experimental aspects of their sound.

The songs are well written and the band understand the need for dynamics and pacing. A very polished and strong production rounds off the package and ensures that the songs have the best chance to shine.

These songs may be largely quite short but they’re packed to the rafters with goodies. Heavy groove, blasting carnage and atmosphere all merge together to create a listening experience that, in all honestly, makes me really fucking happy. I can always tell when I’m getting into an album when I start spontaneously bouncing along to it without realising. As you do.

If you imagine a cross between The Black Dahlia Murder, All Shall Perish and Xehanort then you’ll be on the right lines.

So, Brutal Death Metal, Djent, Deathcore, melody, atmosphere, orchestration…all in 31 minutes and all very well-written? I’m sold!

An extremely impressive album, especially considering the oft-dreaded Deathcore/Djent aspects of their sound.

Very highly recommended.

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Xehanort – Awaken in a Different Dimension (Review)

xehanortI’m not a massive fan of djent. it’s too easy to be mediocre it seems. Xehanort however, belong to a small subset of bands, (such as Xerath and Carthage), who take their humble djenty beginnings and do something worthwhile with it.

So; imagine a heavy-as-hell Death Metal band with some djenty riffs; add a layer of electronics, keyboards and atmosphere; sprinkle in some ethereal clean vocals and cover it all in a complex concept and you’ll arrive at Xehanort’s debut album. And all this from just one person.

This is a top quality recording. The guitars are monolithic and very well played. There is plenty of guitar dexterity and technical wizardry occuring alongside the thick, immense tone of the core heaviness.

One of the failings of djent can be a tendency to stick to the same pace, but Xehanort know when to blast and when to slow down. Each song has levels of added interest as well from the various effects, keyboards, etc. These add to the spice and flavour of the songs rather than fouling it, and never detract from the crushing, moshing, guitar-based core of the band.

Apart from the odd clean vocal as mentioned previously, the main style is deep, brutal, Death Metal grunts, accentuated with high pitched screams that are used tactically throughout.

This may have its basis in djent territory but some serious thought has gone into the construction of this album. If it wasn’t for the modern djent influences this would be classified as atmospheric Death Metal, and probably really should be. All I know is that it’s good and it hits the spot. Give it a try.