Resisting The Urge To Turn It Off
With so many subgenres shrouded under the base definition of metal, it’s sometimes both hard to differentiate between them and oppositely, difficult to explore outside the constructs of what makes your preferred subgenre what it is. Individually, the members that make up Sweden’s the Resistance hail from some of the leading acts in melodic death metal, both in Sweden and worldwide. With a foundation grounded in technical melodies, you’d think it’d be pretty safe to assume that the Resistance’s production would be in the same vein. Yet since the somewhat of a supergroup sprung up in 2011, diehards of the members’ former and concurrent acts – In Flames, Grave, FACE DOWN, the Haunted – found themselves confused and/or disappointed at the band’s outcome.
The Resistance shy away from the frills of melodic death metal, stripping away the albeit harmonious accents for old school nods to the origins of metalcore and hardcore. On their latest release, Coup De Grace, they show no remorse for anyone’s disappointment. To solidify how non-melodic of a release it is, recurrent themes echo a fascination and acceptance of dying, refusal to back down in confrontation and a willingness to take the world on. The album opens with “Death March,” a minute long progression of whirled guitars, the sound of stomping boots and explosive gunshots that startle an entrance into the impactful toughness of “I Welcome Death.” Marco Aro’s raw vocals exude an energy considered atypical with traditional hardcore and death metal, rallying for pumped and angered emotions that last until the album’s end.
Each song is considerably well written, but the “brute vocals+death lyrics+thrash guitar+double bass pedal” formula they each follow makes it all too easy for all of them to sound the same. Aro’s introductory growl on “Violator” aids it in standing out, as well as Chris Barkensjö’s drumming on “Felony” and “For The Venom,” but as a whole lacks variation. Coup De Grace is very much so an album of forceful aggression for the metal traditionalist, but to the average ear, comes off as just one long song.