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Review: Throne of the Beheaded – Severed Ties

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Melodic deathcore band Throne of the Beheaded recently released their debut full-length album called Severed Ties. TOTB formed in early 2015 as a strictly deathcore band before switching to a more melodic sound, which they deliver here. With a running time of 34 minutes and 11 tracks, you can get Severed Ties is on Bandcamp, iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify. Also stop by their Facebook page!

Severed Ties brings forth tons of melody, technical solos, and groovy breakdowns: all in the vein of mid-2000s deathcore. Every song is distinguishable, but a catchy breakdown is guaranteed for each track (excluding the intro, interlude, and outro). There are quite a few guest appearances on here, like Luke Griffin, Duncan Bentley, Joey Brigance, and a few others.TOTB wastes no time and starts off with “Modern Day Genocide,” which features Luke Griffin on guest vocals. The lead guitar throws all sorts of leads your way while the rhythm keeps an aggressive barrier of guitar going. The vocals are high, sort of like old Bless the Fallen, but a bit higher. Luke Griffin shows up to join the main vocalist before final chorus play through. The chorus is pretty catchy so this ends well.

Shout out to Noel Ruiz (and Seraph Recordings for drum samples) for some solid production on this album. I love deathcore as much as the next person, but you can never hear the bass except for the token bass slide or maybe during breakdowns. Bass is totally audible on every song and stands out on “Reformation,” which features Aleksander Abdulov. This track also has one of my favorite riffs from Severed Ties, which is played from the start until a breakdown. Variations of this riff are played during the rest of “Reformation” and they are all good. The solo is pretty technical and I like the guitar tone used: it isn’t screechy, whiny, or scooped sounding.

“Tormentor” and “Glass Lungs” are two of the more 2000s-core sounding songs here. For “Tormentor” I’ll credit that to the fading solo at the end, breakdown in the beginning, and layered vocals during said breakdown. The ending is a bit dramatic sounding, but it does “Tormentor” justice. It contrasts with the heavy and fast beginning. “Glass Lungs” doesn’t have a dramatic ending or anything, but the vocal variation/layering and bridges really makes it 2000s-core. There are also group shouts before a breakdown.

One of my favorite songs is “Shattered God.” This is one of my favorites because it has this really cool atmospheric section, a great solo, and just tight leads throughout. “Shattered God” is one of the heavier songs on Severed Ties and the 2nd longest song as well. The bass gets thick during the main breakdown and it’s just the right kind of dirty. Kaz Webber’s part on here is pretty rad too. Speaking of guest parts, Duncan Bentley’s on “The Spreading Disease” is just as dirty as the short bass heavy section in “Shattered God.” What else would you expect from Duncan though? “The Spreading Disease” does not disappoint and would surely please you if you really enjoyed “Shattered God” and “Reformation.”

“Manson” is a more straightforward deathcore song, but it does have an interesting solo. I would have preferred the guitar to not have any effects on it, only because it makes it sound like it’s on top of the other instruments, but don’t let the effects interfere with a decent solo. There is a brief moment of dissonance during a breakdown that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Severed Ties is a great start to TOTB’s musical career and gives hope to solid content in the future. All of the guest appearances did well for the songs they appeared on. There are a lot of good heavy, melodic riffs on Severed Ties that I think many will enjoy. As mentioned before, the production is pretty good, especially for a band’s first (and self-produced/released) album. Recommended songs to check out: “Shattered God” and “Tormentor.”

Rate: 8.2/10

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