Written by: Izzy
Dance Gavin Dance are a band I only discovered in mid 2018, and the album they released that year, Artificial Selection, is; without exaggeration; one of my favourite albums of all time. I rarely talk about Dance Gavin Dance but I genuinely hold them up there with the likes of Deafheaven and Converge in terms of pure quality and how much I listen to them. Despite their long history and numerous lineup changes they have remained one of the most absurdly consistent bands I know, managing to pour out an amazing album every couple years like clockwork.
Now, if I’m not already getting called a poser by elitist metalheads, I’m about to get into hot water with elitist coreheads when I say I much prefer the Tilian era of DGD. I think his incredibly unique voice, coupled along with his spectacular range, has so much chemistry with Will Swan’s iconic guitar playing and Jon Mess’ gruff harshes that it really allowed the band to skyrocket after a small learning bump with Instant Gratification. Despite their guitarist being the namesake for “swancore,” the particular poppy and more clean-sung microgenre born out of post-hardcore and math rock, Tilian Pearson was the missing piece to truly forging the bands current unmistakable and unreplicable sound. Every current member’s talents gel together so perfectly, becoming a powerhouse quintet where I couldn’t imagine a single member being replaced. All this build up over their 15 year career has led us to Mothership, Artificial Selection, and now Afterburner, making up the best trio of albums the band has released to date.
Finding excellence in unexpected places is one of the greatest joys in the (otherwise sordid) life of a music-reviewing scribe. While I haven’t been terrible vocal on this forum regarding personal opinions on melodic metalcore/post-hardcore, here’s a primer: I don’t explore those particular bogs frequently, as the vast majority seems to exist in a nebulous state of commercial creative regurgitation. And I don’t like bile on my boots.
But, on infrequent yet glorious occasion, a band like The Last Martyr takes elements of an established sound, add their own spin, and elevate said genre out of the murk. At risk of spoiling the rest of this damn review, let’s just say that Creatrix, the stellar debut EP before ye, succeeds enormously in this regard.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!