(We premiere a full stream of the new album by New Zealand’s In Dread Response, with the following introduction by TheMadIsraeli.)
Melodic death metal and metalcore have been intersecting with each other for quite a while now. I’ve been a proponent of the idea that this has mostly produced mediocre music that should be of little interest, often resulting in little more than watered-down melodic death metal with clean pop vocals, riffing that lacks any technical edge, and a boring breakdown here and there. But In Dread Response have always consistently done it right, taking exactly the best aspects of both styles. The technical edge, ferocity, and speed of melodic death metal are in play, combined with metalcore’s emotive sense of melody, energy, and a vocal style that comes off as more emotionally charged. Think of early Killswitch Engage with Jesse Leech, except IDR are definitely about the more ferocious aspects of heavy music. And there are no breakdowns or clean vocals to be found here. Zero.
Heavenshore is the band’s third album, and their best. I’ve not heard metal of the melodic sort this emotionally charged or this vicious in a long time. It’s also one of the few instances in which I truly feel an album is “perfect”, in the sense that there is no filler on it. Every song is distinct and equally great, and I never have an urge to skip to the next track at any point. This is as repeat-listenable as Alive Or Just Breathing or Slaughter Of The Soul, and I’ve been treating it as an album of like prestige since the IDR guys sent me the promo of it.
There has been a huge change in the IDR sound with the addition of vocalist Ben Read. Read has done time in Ulcerate, of all bands. He replaces the band’s original vocalist Sean Connolly, who was of a more traditional melodic death metal growly persuasion. Ben Read attacks the vocal position with more of the emotive, unrestrained nature of vocalists like Jesse Leech from Killswitch Engage, Joe Nally of Chapters, and so on, fitting In Dread Response far better in the end than Sean Connolly did.
The band has given us the privilege of streaming this album until the record’s release on August 1. It’s a blazing firestorm of military discipline, savage precision, and frantic emotiveness. While the band stick to their trademark brand of pedal-point riffs, Dark Tranquillity-style two-guitar sections, and big, open, melodic walls that cave in on you, they have also introduced a lot of “post-y” ambience that has taken their sound to a whole new arena. I quite dig it.
Heavenshore stands on its own and needs no further linguistic endorsement — just listen. It’s a fierce, feral tiger of an album. I hope you all enjoy this as much as I have.
Heavenshore is due for release on August 1, 2015, by Mighty Ape.