I Killed Everyone – Dead Peasants (2012)

ikefinal-1596967 In a local scene filled with bands that are going nowhere fast, I Killed Everyone is an exception to the rule. I Killed Everyone formed in Addison, Illinois in 2008 and has since sustained various line-up changes. Their current line-up consists of Tom Salazar on drums, Jack Herold on vocals, Bill Williams and Jason Cordero on guitar, and Rich Stancato on bass. They are all very talented individuals and their debut full-length album, Dead Peasants, is a testament to their brilliance.

I Killed Everyone has played a style of in-your-face no-nonsense deathcore since their early days, but they have also noticeably progressed. If you listen to one of their early demo tracks, such as Aborted Beliefs, and then listen to their first EP, The Last Breath of a Dying World, you’ll hear a logical degree of progression that makes their music more interesting. The same can be said of the band’s latest effort, Dead Peasants. Their progression is, again, logical and keeps the music interesting without alienating longtime fans. Logical progression seems to be a common problem among deathcore bands these days (I’m looking at you, Whitechapel, Chelsea Grin, and Suicide Silence) and I’m glad I Killed Everyone managed to progress in a way that actually makes sense.

One of the first things that came to mind when I listened to Dead Peasants for the first time was “holy breakdowns, Batman!” This album is riddled with them. While some would most likely decry I Killed Everyone’s use of breakdowns, I think they are done well and, for the most part, do not detract from the album at all. While they probably could stand to remove some of the breakdowns, I don’t think it’s too big of an issue. The breakdown at the end of Earth Carcass and the one in the middle of The Art of Flesh are absolutely devastating and are two of the best breakdowns I’ve heard from a deathcore band in years.

Another element that was immediately brought to my attention upon listening to Dead Peasants was the use of keys. I Killed Everyone has never used keys before this album, but I feel like they’re used well. They’re used sparingly and do not degrade the music to the point where it becomes cheesy. The keys add another dimension to Dead Peasants and implementing them was a good decision on the band’s part. The keyboard-laced breakdown at the end of Earth Carcass is a perfect example of how to successfully use keys in deathcore.

While every member of I Killed Everyone is quite obviously talented, the standout performance on Dead Peasants, comes from the vocalist, Jack Herold. Herold’s low growls are absolutely monstrous and there are times at which I would liken them to those of Phil Bozeman on Whitechapel’s The Somatic Defilement. His highs are also impressive, although they are used far more sparingly than his lows.

I Killed Everyone’s Dead Peasants is a very solid album coming from a genre that doesn’t seem to have much left to offer. While deathcore may be dying (or already dead, depending on who you ask), I Killed Everyone is here to remind us that there are still bands in the genre worth listening to. It may not be the best deathcore album of all time, but it certainly is one of the best to come out in the past several years.

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By Mike O’Hara ~ Me Gusta Reviews