Overall Score: 7/10 Originality: 3/10 Consistency: 10/10 Riffs: 9/10 Pros: No filler | Plenty of riffs Cons: A sense of ‘been there, heard that’
When a name like Death Remains you know you’re not about to listen to a pop-punk band. Hailing from England’s capital city, the end of April saw Death Remains release their sophomore album Destroy / Rebuild. Seemingly influenced by the likes of early Killswitch Engage, this second album does everything it can to expand upon Stand.Fight.Believe and the only place it fails is in the number of full stops in the name.
From the opening riff and drums you’re left with no doubts over the type of band you’re listening to. Many people will be unfamiliar with Death Remains at this point and in that respect Destroy is the perfect opener. The riffs continue throughout, there are breakdowns, a bass solo and deep growling vocals. What more could you possibly want? A seamless transition into track 2, Endure and Survive, follows and that is incredibly satisfying. Blast beats and big bass lines are accompanied by harsher vocals in a track that goes bigger and heavier than the opener.
Hardships follows on in a similar vein with the single No Trace coming up afterwards. Completing an opening quartet that rivals anything released in the world of metal in 2017 No Trace isn’t quite as fast paced as the previous tracks but it makes up for that with a huge chorus and the finest riff on show on Destroy / Rebuild.
Taking a small breather for the poignant Soldier, it is impressive that none of the momentum is lost during the track. From here on out the band do let their influences creep in more and more. Pathways is vocally similar to both Jesse and Howard’s Killswitch iterations. Futile Existence follows and has a much more metalcore feel than previous track. It keeps it towards the heavier side for the most part, though the tempo change half way through with harsh vocals over a softer guitar is a nice change. Seeing the album out is Rebuild (you may see what they’ve done there with the first and last tracks?) and it takes elements of everything that preceded it to form the longest song on the album. A big ending to a 40 minute journey through the Death Remains psyche.
Soldier aside, this isn’t a particularly varied or innovative album. At times Destroy / Rebuild is powerfully heavy metalcore and at times it sits on the softer side of metalcore. What can’t be argued is the consistency of the album. It doesn’t dip across all 10 tracks and is more than worthy of your time. It won’t even take up your whole lunch hour.
Destroy / Rebuild is out now on Transcend Music.