Only a few years ago, Viscera set the UK Deathcore scene ablaze with their debut album Obsidian, now with a few years under their belt (albeit partially being in the pandemic) and fresh straight off their big European tour with big-hitters Despised Icon and Decapitated, the deathcore group are back with their latest helping of heavy anthems with Carcinogenesis (Unique Leader). Will they be able to maintain this momentum brought on by their debut, or will they succumb to the looming threat of the sophomore slump?
Taking a leaf out of the Lorna Shore handbook, a harmonious orchestra floods your ears before putting the aforementioned question straight into the nearest bin as if it was ridiculous to even begin to suggest in the first place. Chugging rolling guitars and blast beats take the centre stage shortly before Jamie Graham’s beastly voice bellows out the album title and hollers out the first of many screams to come. This brutality can ultimately only be summarised in one word: heavy.
It is evident that the deathcore band are set out from the get-go to show they’ve not softened in sound at all. It’s not all the same as before either, interjecting some less screaming vocals, Graham’s almost spoken word for the gaps in mayhem, give almost an element of Sheffield heroes, Malevolence. This doesn’t for one moment lower the tone or scale back the furiosity of the sound. On the contrary, the break in dynamics make the heavier sections seem much heavier in contrast, and these pauses help to build momentum back up, culminating in a song that will devastate the live circuit.
While in Obsidian, the band put on a fine display of technical deathcore prowess, in Carcinogenesis, on the other hand, the quintet put forward a range of other influences from the death metal spectrum into the album’s mixture. ‘Layers of Skin’ demonstrates this perfectly, seamlessly flitting between the chugging core sound of the subgenre, sounding almost like it’s punching into your head, into more technical finger tapping feats, in line with more melodic death metal. These two sounds subtly merge together you’d have thought they were entwined the entire song.
Once again, Viscera take it up a notch with the sixth track of the release, ‘Sungazer’. Synthy introductions greet the listener for the first time, shortly being joined by a tech metal sound straight out of the Veil of Maya catalog as the band then push the throttle on and launch into a ferocious heavy sound. Part of Graham’s highlight in his previous bands, especially in Heart of a Coward was his rich, clean vocals. ‘Sungazer’ allows Graham to display his full range in the chorus, throwing all of himself into it.
Bringing back the orchestral melodies interpolated into the heavy deathcore sounds, the band don’t leave the album without another face melter in the guise of ‘On Earth As It Is In Hell’. Spoken word passages are interspersed throughout the song, bringing forward a similar mood to the likes of ‘Daylight Dies’ by metalcore stalwarts Killswitch Engage. This combined with the Hellish brutality of their previous song produces the perfect album to close on.
Not only have Viscera managed to maintain the quality of Obsidian, but in by bringing on the different influences of either side of their subgenre, the band have managed to create a body of music that goes beyond what their first album managed too. It definitely seems, as much of cliche as it is to say, the skies are the limit for this deathcore quintet.
Viscera should definitely be at the top of your list to look out for in the UK Deathcore scene. It definitely feels like there’s still a lot more to come from this band in the future.
But the album here:
8 / 10