Album Review: Excellent Cadaver – Faith Destroyed

FAITH DESTROYED! I can’t breathe for the smoke inside of my lungs… Choking… RISING UP AND TAKING OVER!
FAITH DESTROYED! You can’t speak without lies surrounding your tongue… Vengeance… RISING UP AND TAKING OVER ME!

Well, as you can already see, these aren’t your standard “inspirational” metalcore lyrics, and upon finding out that this, the album’s title song Faith Destroyed is a song about the Catholic Church’s betrayal of the Templars by executing them, it seems this song is actually about something a bit more interesting than your everyday throwaway lyrics about self-entitlement and being yourself. Before more people message me, telling me to kill myself for having an opinion (like six people have done for my opinion that Trivium’s In Waves is worse than Miley CyrusWrecking Ball), I would like to point out that the lyrics being about self-entitlement and being yourself isn’t what annoys me about standard generic… umm… every genre these days to be honest… it’s that they all say the same f***ing thing repeatedly as every other bland, non-energetic “Oh just shut up, enjoy the music and give us some money so we can be famous” type artist out there.

So having already established that the lyrics in the titular song (which features guest vocals from Chimaira’s Mark Hunter) are actually about something, I think it would be fair of you to ask “well, what about the lyrics in the rest of the album?” (which you probably aren’t doing), and I would answer that for a change (from a “core” band), I am indeed enjoying these lyrics, as they suit the tone and feeling in the music, while being about more than what I mentioned above… it is clear that vocalist/lyricist Andrew Downie has put a LOT of thought into these lyrics, most notably in the songs The Final Cutscene and We Are Reborn. I don’t really want to give away too much lyrically, since as a lyricist in a band myself, I feel it should be up to the listener to find their own meanings in the words, and I feel I’ve said a little too much about the titular song already, so suffice it to say it is nice to hear lyrics that mean something, and are not your everyday superficial half-assed “be yourself” type lyrics (I like some lyrics with that topic from time to time – see Green Day’s The Minority and Veil Of Maya’s Unbreakable, but again, I’m talking about the ones that re-word the exact same thing as a million other songs).

Now we’ve established that the lyrics are the second best I’ve covered so far in a review (after Man Made Origin), how does the music hold up?

Answer: mostly very good.

I’ll get my minor gripes out of the way here: firstly is the interlude suitably called What Is This? which is a simple enough piano piece which leads into the next song, Another Action Plan. I say What Is This? is suitably named because that is exactly what I was thinking the whole time it was playing. In all honesty, I felt it could have just been the intro to Another Action Plan, which says the line “What Is This?” so many times; it should be the one to have that name. My other gripe is that the chorus in Another Action Plan sounds a bit similar to the chorus in Slipknot’s Welcome… I strongly doubt this was plagiarism however, since the rest of the songs sound nothing alike.

As well as this, there are a few things I would like to hear from this band in the future (so these points are not criticism of the current material), for instance, Faith Destroyed feels like there is quite some groove in it, and I would really like to hear more of that in their upcoming material. Also, the song Intentions’ intro sounds a little bit like Amon Amarth’s Guardians Of Asgard (more as a reminder rather than rip-off or whatever), and My Own Addiction’s intro riff sounds like it uses melodic death metal ideals rather than metalcore ones, but it’s genius they feel perfectly in place here in a metalcore album – and I would like to hear them experiment with this genre splicing more, especially since their guitarist, Drew Cochrane is also in punk band Overdose, and ‘extreme’ metal band Morlich (if you are wondering why ‘extreme’ is in inverted commas, read my last review for Eternal Storm). I say this because the genre splicing is part of what really makes this album stand out against the dull background of repetitive, generic music, and from my perspective, they are one of the up and coming bands who are doing well for themselves that give me hope that we might still get some new music that sounds fresh, and original (apart from slight similarities to other stuff which I pointed out).

So now we got that out of the way – it’s time to have a look at the songs.

We start with a great, pretty relaxing intro track called Aurora, which leads very nicely into my favourite song on the album, My Own Addiction. While I’m mentioning this, what is it with Scottish bands and starting their albums or EPs with the best bit… I mean, the intro to Faith Of The Verse in Man Made Origin’s False Conciousness, Pen To Paper/Fifteen Minutes at the start of Scriptures by Dividing The Silence, III/Colony opening Uprising by Bleed From Within, the start of Dead Men in Existence by To Kill Achillies… the list goes on…

My Own Addiction is a song that is everything you could hope for and more from metalcore – catchy, heavy, and refreshingly original… so we can see that this is good metalcore (like early Bullet For My Valentine, early Avenged Sevenfold and Killswitch Engage), not s*** metalcore (most of it – like recent Bullet For My Valentine, The Devil Wears Prada and Asking Alexandria). The riffs work so well together, the vocals naturally suit the music, and lyrics, and as with all the songs in this album – there is actual emotion present! (Take notes The Devil Wears Prada… some metalcore artists do know how to give their songs meaning and feeling).

With most of the other songs (Stockholm, Dissention, We Are Reborn, Another Action Plan and The Rise And Fall), are catchy and each have a unique tune, chorus and there are plenty of differing vocal rhythms here… and in others (Polarised and Intentions), there is a much heavier sound, still with plenty of feeling and plenty of strength in the vocals and the lyrics.

The album ends with The Final Cutscene – a seven minute rather epic song, which opens with a piano melody with a slow guitar solo to go with it… before launching into a rather huge sounding metal track with a chorus that has a very awesome riff behind it… this is another track where everything works…

To be honest… this whole album seems to be a case of everything working together… and to be quite frank we need more albums like this out there. So if you have money left over and are wondering what to do with it – do yourself a favour and buy yourself this album from Bigcartel instead for £5 (plus postage – which is usually just £1). Trust me… if you like metalcore, but want a band that doesn’t sound the same as every other Metalcore band – you will not regret it.

Excellent Cadaver: Faith Destroyed
Favourite Bit: The intro (and outro) of My Own Addiction
Favourite Song: My Own Addiction
Final Verdict: 10/10

Review by Stuart Johnstone.

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