Despised Icon - _The Ills of Modern Man_
(Century Media, 2007)
by: Jackie Smit (
By virtue of the sheer volume of quality acts that have come flooding in from Montreal, Quebec over the course of the last twelve months, you wouldn't be far wrong labelling the second largest city in Canada the new Gothenburg. Whether it was Cryptopsy who got the ball rolling with their brand of ludicrously technical death metal, or the government slipping something into the water in a bid to compensate for allowing Celine Dion to enter a recording studio -- it's all irrelevant when the French-Canadian underground is currently spawning the likes of Beneath the Massacre and Despised Icon, whose latest effort is nothing short of pulverizing.For the uninitiated, this six-piece blends the best of Dying Fetus' bone-jarring brutality with generous doses of grind and good old-fashioned, blood-and-guts hardcore. Those familiar with the band's previous efforts, particularly 2005's _The Healing Process_, will discover a clutch of improvements on this, their third full-length, that stretch well past Yannick St-Amand's superior production job. The greatly matured songwriting evident on the record's first two tracks alone speaks volumes for how the band have managed to distil and refine their sound. Toning down the often superfluous discordance of past material, they employ each element in their canon with greater care and to distinctly more punishing effect than ever before.From the gang vocals at the tail-end of "In the Arms of Perdition" to a groove that threatens to spiral into undivided chaos forming the proverbial spine of "Furtive Monologue", _The Ills of Modern Man_ holds back precious little in its quest to pummel the listener into submission. Which is about what you'd expect from a band who've built a reputation over the last two years out of upstaging many higher profile bands unfortunate enough to share a stage with them.
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