From a perspective of effecting an audience, I feel that Deathcore is very similar to stand-up comedy. My point being that when created with the right motivating factors and content, experiencing it can be both cathartic and life changing; akin to being grabbed by the lapels and having all the accumulated shit shaken out of you.
A Trust Unclean have been around for several years now but their current incarnation only consolidated itself around 18 months ago. This line-up must feel simpatico with each other because this EP feels like the work of pathologically experienced hands. Highly adept and organised sonic storytelling prevails throughout, not only capturing the imagination but taking it down the nearest dark alley to administer a serious kicking. This is exactly the type of Deathcore song writing that gets me excited. It’s multi-layered and aware of all the clichés that both un-ironic and parody focused fans will be looking for.
ATU seem to revel in rage and have moulded 5 tracks that could offer sympathy to even the most forlorn and vengeful miscreant. Their use of pacing is savage, yet it conceals a considerable thoughtfulness in its application. Perhaps they have a secret side-project called Jack Ketch, because they position breakdowns with the coldly experienced hand of a hangman; knowing with principled assurance just when the drop should come and when it does, how long the rope has to be to effect the ultimate transition.
But let us move away from such grizzly metaphors, as there is more to ATU than one might expect. There is a genuine love of progressive metal within the band. So much so, that to pigeon-hole them as exclusively Deathcore is almost negligent. In their songs, the usual common-time Deathcore tropes are given a pressing effervescence with the application of a slanted syncopation, much beloved of Tech Metal. This adept refinement is augmented by razor sharp, febrile details; the like of which only a band with a most profound understanding of its craft would include.
As voluble as it is viscous and as mindful as it is malevolent, the riff making on this EP will cause paroxysms of delight in anyone who has ever picked up a guitar. Once again, placement and distribution are key components in their success but that does not lessen the almost absurd impact that they are likely to have on the unsuspecting listener. Faster, more technical sections are given roots via brutalising heaviness while the more methodical sections are given extra life by the fresh orientation of the syncopated rhythms.
The vocals are powerfully presented and as varied in capacity as the music they supplement. They range from dredged brees to black metal raps, with all the technique and torpor you could want placed in between. Their presence ghosts back and forth through the music, one minute cresting on top of it, the next sitting sinisterly behind it. All in all, it is a well considered, aggressive and adroit vocal performance.
What ATU have made is an EP that will appeal to the vast majority of metal fans. All the more amazing is that they have done this without losing any of the stylistic qualities, compulsory for genre specific brutality.
Just like the best comedians who can tear you to metaphorical pieces by the way they perform a bit, A Trust Unclean with their muscular and intelligently constructed approach to modern heavy music, have created something capable of similar feats.
– John Whitmore