(This is TheMadIsraeli’s review of the new EP by Framework from New Jersey and New York.)
Melodic death metal is a genre that’s arguably an endangered species as a stand-alone style. It started as something very distinct and apart from the rest of metal for sure, and some of the greatest metal ever made was recorded by bands operating under that label and with those stylistic leanings. However, I think it can be argued that the style has basically been devoured by the rest of metal.
More extreme bands began incorporating more melody into their music, and the melodic death bands who took notice of this started incorporating more extreme elements into their own music. This musical adaptation that’s happened, especially in the last ten years, make it worth asking if we should even be using the genre descriptor any more.
I reviewed Framework’s excellent record A World Distorted here at NCS previously, an impressive debut that incorporated all the best aspects of ’90‘s/early 2000s heavier melodic death metal in the spirit of At The Gates, Soilwork, Nightrage, etc. Framework have been underground for a good while since then, now three years removed from A World Distorted. And now I understand why, as the band have been busy re-tooling their sound, making that adaptation I spoke of earlier.
Where We Divide is one of the most impressively concise, intense, and satisfying EPs of 2017, and it also sees Framework morphing more into their own. They have integrated their melodic death metal tendencies of old with syncopated grooves in the style of progressive metalcore ala Textures or Hacride, post-rock/metal atmosphere, and a significantly more intense thrash focus to ramp up the intensity of their speedier side, and as a consequence the band is almost unrecognizable from their debut.
What they’ve become is a hybrid enigma, of that there’s no doubt. You can’t really apply a primary genre descriptor to them anymore, but they’ve gone from having a unique spin on an old style to now just having a unique spin. This EP is stellar. I love everything about it — the tight, melodramatic riffing, the shreddy solos, the raw impassioned throat-tearing vocals, the atmosphere, it’s all fucking good.
The EP stream is below, and I will also link a stream of the band’s debut, as purchasing the EP currently also comes with A World Distorted. This is an essential release for this year, as well as an essential band to have on your radar.