Nov 16, 2011

Greg The Hero "Of Defiance" EP Review

Genre: Death Metal / Hardcore / Black Metal
Location: Iowa, US

Greg The Hero, a 6 piece death metal/hardcore/black metal act out of Iowa, has unleashed their latest effort, Of Defiance EP. And I will certainly give them an "A" for effort and execution! This EP will absolutely punch you in the face from start to finish. What is particularly refreshing is the unique blend of deathcore and melodic pieces throughout. This EP isn't just about brutality, although there is plenty of it! The dual vocalists battling it out, the guitar sweeps, blast beats, and even piano interludes all blend together to form this amazing EP.

1. Bryn Mawr - This track sets the tone of the entire album. The opening quote is from The Departed, although slowed down. The instruments start to fade up and disappear the quote finishes with "If you're faced with a loaded gun...what's the difference?". A single snare blast signals the start of the chaos. Blast beats and dissonance will fill your ears as the vocalists start. The heaviness absolutely does not let up. Breakdowns, harmonics, feedback, palm muting, crushing vocals, and triplets are all present. The song takes a turn when the piano kicks in, to be a little more melodic. A rhythmic build up leads up to the final breakdown, and the end of one hell of an opening track.

2. Northern Moon Final - This track starts drastically different from the first, but not in a bad way. The band starts to show their technical roots here as a whole. Don't worry, they still break it down, hard. Listen closely and you will hear the bass player grooving out; something you don't hear enough of from bands. The keyboard is more present in this song laying down textures and more piano. This song really takes a black metal turn the more it goes on, which is unexpected, but it fits.

3. Forging a Legacy - They left the melody on the previous track and just come out of the gates hard on this one. This song certainly solidifies their roots in deathcore, but that's not to say their other influences aren't present. It's hard to put into words, but the combination of black metal and deathcore is done in such a pleasing way. It's a short track, but they cram a lot of influences and styles in there.

4. White Elephant Holiday - The first couple seconds of this track remind me heavily of Dillinger Escape Plan. The drummer is really showing off in this track. It's business as usual until we hit an awesome, unexpected tempo change to slow it down. This song is just down and dirty. Nothing pretty about it, just the way I like it. The end of the track takes an interesting turn with almost angelic voices in the background, as it does a 180 and breaks it down.

5. Weight of the World - The final track on this EP leaves nothing behind. Everything is showcased here by the band. It's fast and it never lets up. You get crazy drumming, sweeps, keyboard textures, and much more packed into this song. The energy in this song is almost palpable. The keys really slow the last breakdown to a crawl as the final song on this EP comes to a close.

Rating: 4/5