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Review: Drowning – Egotrip

Coming in this week for our dose of beatdown is Chicago based band Drowning. Just like many other bands in this and other metal genres, Drowning is charged with anger and is ready to crowdkill at any moment with violent lyrics and riffs. You can purchase/check out their latest album, Egotrip, on Spotify, iTunes, Fastbreak Records, Cortex Records (EU), and Youtube!

Getting right into the meat of this review, it goes without saying that you will find yourself moving for most, if not all, of Egotrip. The vocals on this album are a bit different than I expected; they aren’t raspy, raw, and don’t sound like they are damaging the vocalist’s vocal chords, so I find them rather refreshing. One of the things I really like about Egotrip is that the album doesn’t just blend together when you listen through. I don’t listen to beatdown that often, but when I do I feel like many bands sound the same and fall back on the parameters of the genre too often. For example, the drummer tries to change things up instead of using the same 2 grooves/progressions for every song. Egotrip pulls out a few familiar tricks, but there are several other redeeming qualities about this album that allow Egotrip to walk away without sounding generic.

For the most part, Egotrip plays pretty heavy riffs and beatdowns that call for something violent to happen. Some songs have sections that are pretty hardcore sounding like “One Way Street” and “Egotrip.” Going back to the vocals, they change up a bit throughout Egotrip. I don’t know if there are more than 1 vocalist, if the rest of the band contributes, or if there are just featured vocalists who went unlisted, but you will hear quite a range of vocals and styles. “Hollowed” alone has some different vocals thrown at you: some for the beatdowns, some for verses, some for the hell of it. Again, it’s pretty refreshing and “Hollowed” has a cool hook to it.

Some songs are really hard-hitting from the start, like “Streets of Blood” and “Dead End.” The riffs give off a deathcore-like vibe, but obviously not deathcore then just hammers in the rest of the song with fitting drums and harsh vocals. The down-tuned guitars and thick bass tone are the head of the hammer; they are the drivers of each song. Think of the drums as the metal the hammer head is made of; while the hammer head is technically what hits things, it wouldn’t be as effective without a sturdy metal structure.

There’s a lot of attitude that shines through in some songs, like “Speak True” and “One Way Street.” I usually associate attitude with the vocals, but other songs have bouncy sort of riffs that are perfect for attitude-filled crowdkilling. For those look to “Lord of War,”parts of “Misconception,” and “No Conviction.” Those songs feature riffs that are a bit quicker sounding (with support from the drums, or course).

I’m going to wrap it up there because I can’t say too much more about Egotrip. I am thoroughly pleased with Egotrip because of the curve balls it threw. Drowning definitely have made a generous contribution to the beatdown scene. While Egotrip isn’t revolutionary, it shows some genuine musicianship that, in my opinion, lacks in a lot of beatdown bands’ music. I recommend Egotrip to fans of hardore and beatdown alike.

Rate: 7.8/10

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