Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Receptionist - This is Everything(2012)

Receptionist- This is Everything
If Metalcore is dead, then Norway's Receptionist must be one of the walking, feeding unliving.

I was more than curious to see this shambling creature of the past come my way, considering they sound that Receptionist play is largely dead.  Metalcore - real Metalcore - lived a short, brutal life through the 90's, when Metallic Hardcore got even more pissed off(if that is even possible): the demented ramblings of Converge, Rorschach, Starkweather, Botch and Deadguy led a small, brutal underground revolution in two separate scenes which had not always played nice with each other.  But then came the new millennium, and with it a new genre of music which adopted the Metalcore name.  These new bands sounded nothing like their 90's predecessors, owing far more to Gothenburg Death Metal and Groove Metal than anything even remotely Hardcore Punk.  But the damage was done: these new generations of bands made Metalcore a toxic genre, and so bastardized the very concept of Metalcore that history was literally re-written to exclude the classic 90's bands from the genre they created(with such idiotic genre's as "Chaotic Hardcore").  Couple this with the fact that only a handful of the 90's bands remain, and Metalcore as it was intended has largely been lost to history.

Clearly, Receptionist are pretty pissed off about this, and they let their dissatisfaction with it be known on This is Everything.  For some younger fans, particularly those who enjoy modern "Metalcore," Receptionist's sonic blitzkriegs might sound wholly unique, even revolutionary.  And at one point they were... when Rorschach and Botch came up with them over a decade ago.  Not that this is an issue: This is Everything might not be anything new, but with how rare it is to hear 90's Metalcore played with this kind of vigor and aggression in the modern scene, This is Everything feels massively powerful.  Receptionist masterfully mix the unhinged intensity of Deadguy with the technical breakdowns of Botch and the long, atmospheric riffing style of Starkweather into a grab bag of all the best that classic Metalcore has to offer, amping up the emotion and rage with an unrelenting sense of impending misfortune and a hint of suffering.  Metalcore was always meant to be an emotional, full body experience, and Receptionist seem to have a strong understanding of this concept: "Flying Dutchman" starts out by kicking in your teeth with a fast, semi-technical foot to your grill ; like a kick to the face, it's over quickly and it hurts, but the song quickly enters into a reflective, atmospheric composition, complete with an unholy choir chanting with the distorted tides of crushing riffs.  The final track, "Ménière" begins slow, a single guitar signaling the coming storm.  The track slowly builds, adding layers of tension and dread, but it never quite explodes into chaotic domination: instead, it's a somber sojourn, leading to that most inevitable of ends...

If This is Everything is causing me to wax poetic, I must apologize.  I just can't help it: this is a sound, a style, an idea that has unfairly been lost to an entire generation, all because of some stupid fucking genre classification.  It makes This is Everything feel more important than it really is: it's a fairly standard amalgamation of the various sounds from 90's Metalcore.  This is Everything is not overflowing with new or fresh ideas or revolutionary concepts.  And yet This is Everything feels fresh and masterful, largely because this style of Metalcore has become the pink diamond of Extreme Music: rare and a pain in the ass to find.  This Olso based two-piece have brought to a new generation a sound and a musical ideology which has long sense diminished into almost nothing... and for that alone, This is Everything is a masterstroke.

Rating: 9/10

Download This is Everything from Bandcamp, Free of Charge

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