Despised Icon - _Day of Mourning_
(Century Media, 2009)
by: Jackie Smit (
Whether your idea of rockin' out involves being assaulted by an aerial bombardment of breakdowns and pig squeal vocals, or whether the mere suggestion of the phrase "deathcore" causes you to reach for your daddy's 12-gauge in a blind, homicidal rage, it's hard to argue that Montreal's Despised Icon haven't evolved into one hell of a metal band of late. Questionable genre associations aside, the quintet's certifiably insane live shows, coupled with an overt appreciation of both old and new school extremity, has helped them plant their flag in more ways than one. But perhaps even more than the aforementioned, Despised Icon's appeal lies largely in their command of The Riff, allowing them to string together slews of memorable sequences seemingly at will.Obviously conscious of this fact, _Day of Mourning_ is largely constructed around distinct song structures. Discordance and melody share equal footing on the likes of "Les Temp Changent" and "MVP", gifting each track with a discernible personality of its own -- far more so than they were evidently capable of doing on 2007's _The Ills of Modern Man". On "All for Nothing", a clutch of masterfully choreographed gang vocals show what can be done with the lowly breakdown, provided you bring some creative nous to the table. But it's on "Diva of Disgust" where every strand of Despised Icon's make-up is brilliantly interwoven in what is easily the record's highlight. By contrast, the two cuts that follow sound disappointingly limp, yet even so leave little doubt that these boys continue to comfortably stomp a mudhole through anyone otherwise considered to be plying their trade in the same ballpark.
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