The early 2000’s were an interesting yet dividing time for the metal community.  On one end, the heavier side of metal music (grindcore, death metal etc.) was continuing to get heavier.  Although on the other end, the once underground style of metalcore began to acquire more mainstream success.  So what happens when you combine the heaviness of modern death metal with slight metalcore influences?  You get a potentially interesting band like Despised Icon.

To say that Despised Icon was just a death metal/metalcore hybrid is still an understatement though.  Honestly, it’s difficult to place them into a specific sub-genre. Many people are willing to dismiss them as a generic deathcore band, but quite frankly that’s an inappropriate description of their sound.  Take these points into consideration.

  1. Despised Icon formed in the early 2000’s.  This was a time when the deathcore style was still in its infancy, and years before the outbreak and commercial success of future deathcore acts.  Since they were one of the pioneers of the sound it would be a logical fallacy to write them off as “generic”. 
  2. Their music demonstrated too many influences for them to be typecasted as deathcore.  Refer back to their first two albums (“Consumed By Your Poison” and “The Healing Process”).  While elements of the metalcore/deathcore sound are present on these releases they’re relatively scarce when compared to all of the grindcore and tech-death influences.  In other words, the complex arrangements and slam riffs outweigh the breakdowns. 
  3. Despised Icon had a distinguishable sound.  I know that may sound like opinionated bullshit, but this statement is coming from someone that has listened to A LOT of deathcore.  Some of their recognizable features stemmed from the instrumentation, but just as much of it was a result of the unique and complimentary vocal stylings of Erian and Marois.

Regardless of whatever label the general public wants to place upon them, Despised Icon was one hell of a band.  They pushed the boundaries of extreme metal for the new decade by melding the aggressive nature of 90’s metalcore with the heaviness of death metal.  Most importantly, they gave us four albums of relentless brutality! What more could one ask for?     

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