The Holy Guile first full-length release "FSU" shocked me in early 2013 for how good it was. What they did was deliver deathcore in it's finest form with that extreme touch you actually expect from this genre, but rarely actually get to hear. They also added a sweet nu metal twist in some passages.
When I heard they were already releasing a new album in October, I was a bit skeptical about the result, thinking the rush might have taken over this band's awesome creativity/ But after hearing the first single, I was glad to realize I was wrong. So I approached this album with happiness for what I was about the hear, and my expectations had been widely fulfilled from the very first moment…
"Deathstar". THIS SONG. So damn epic. It's simply overwhelming, fast and incredibly hard-hitting. Superior is the word that comes to mind. The orchestral samples that appear during this track make it one of the most epic and dramatic pieces of deathcore you might have heard in years. The riffage is out of control and Saud's vocals didn't weaken. Instead, they seem to have improved since last year. His screaming rapcore style has now been enhanced, becoming one of the distinctive elements of his singing.
The hip hop influence has been empowered since the last album as you can hear from the intro of the second track, "ATF". It almost immediately turns into one of the most solid tracks on the album. The guitar work is refined and just plain amazing in its aggressive assaults and the small melodic segments. This one also features an amazing solo towards the end and an absurdly catchy breakdown in the middle….that breakdown! Track 3, "AK47", is nothing but a hip hop interlude in which Saud basically raps on a smooth beat. The importance of this song is all in the lyrics. They show you the difference between a band like this and bands like Attila. After this small intermission, we encounter the other single taken from the album: "California Gold". This song is a tribute to Mitch Lucker, who was definitely one of the most influential vocalists of the modern metal scene. The Suicide Silence influence on this song is evident, both in the main riffs and when the melody kicks in.
Another hip hop intro leads to another insane tune called "Sour D". This massive sound, the superb production, and Saud vocals contribute to set a new standard for this genre, redefining what you considered "extreme" in deathcore. "Cindarella 99" and "Visionary" are the songs in which Saud's "nu-deathcore" style shows off, giving a perfect example of how you can place this hip hop style side by side with traditional deathcore singing. This is all done without making your band sound like a bunch of commercial sellout kids (Fronz, take notes…). This is especially true considering the whole instrumental unit is the one packed with extremely intelligent, technical deathcore songwriting. They do this while still managing to be extremely spontaneous and easily intelligible. "Emissary" and "White Window" alternate a faster tune and a slower one, with the second song delivering a catchy riff or two and guest vocals from Hale To The King's Kody Hale, who already took part to The Holy Guile's debut album on the song "Stoke Stokely". "Item Nine" is another fast song with a funny experiment in the lyrics. Saud builds verses with the names of various metalcore bands and quotations with a really cool result.
The album ends by the hand of the title track "OG". With this, the band that blows us all away once again with some insane guitar wizardry and crushing breakdowns, supported by a mighty rhythmic session. This is an unstoppable tune, where you can enjoy this band's technical skills at their finest. Even though I'm kinda missing the anticlerical lyrics and the verses against the music industry, this album brings some incredible, heavy music. I'd even say it probably tops "FSU".
When it comes to deathcore, this album is basically flawless on every front: attitude, instrumental work, inhumane vocals and so on. In some ways, it sets the bar higher for today's deathcore bands. Unfortunately, pretty much unlistened and ignored by the masses, this is another incredible release from the most underrated deathcore act on Earth. Moreso, The Holy Guile is possibly one of the most underrated bands of today's modern metal scene. Give them a go.
Keep that shit OG.