Album Review: The Last Ten Seconds Of Life – The Last Ten Seconds Of Life

Album Review: The Last Ten Seconds Of Life - The Last Ten Seconds Of Life
Reviewed by Paul Hutchings

Deathcore isn’t my bag. I struggle big time with the breakdowns, vocals and the overall jagged direction in which the music takes. So, picking up Pennsylvanian Deathcore merchants The Last Ten Seconds of Life wasn’t ideal in the list of albums to review.

Clocking in at 52 minutes and 14 tracks, ‘The Last Ten Seconds of Life’ is a bruising, angry and aggression filled album that is as heavy as anything you’ll hear this year. Formed in 2010, the band has released five previous albums, the most recent ‘Machina Non Grata’ in 2019. ‘TLTSOL’ opens with the brutish ‘Invictus unto Fire’, which smashes its way into your consciousness with huge riffs and raging vocals. Nothing too surprising with muscular, punishing breakdowns. Things turn a bit sludgy during ‘The Sabbath’, the tempo slowing right down and the riffs grinding out.

The combination of death metal growls and nu-metal style cleans features on ‘Birth of the Butcher’, which also varies in pace, ferociousness being equalled by slow, pummelling ground out segments and a clean, almost ethereal conclusion. Things were getting confusing and unpredictable and continued to bemuse with the mid-section of Altar of Poisons which switched from cranium crushing death metal to calm and melodic before firing up the rage once more with more slaps across the back of the head and cookie monster growling.

Album Review: The Last Ten Seconds Of Life - The Last Ten Seconds Of Life

To say this album was a kaleidoscopic combination of songs would be too generous. The general approach is drunk punching riffs, frantic blast beats and harrowing darkness. But TLTSOL slip between a range of genres with organic fluidity. To the extent I really didn’t comprehend the sheer intensity that they brought to the table. The heavyweight pounding of ‘Hate What you Love’ is completely upturned by the opening of ‘Vampire (A Blood Ballad)’ which has a clean vocal solo before erupting into a maelstrom of bitter ferocity.

It’s these types of contrasts that make this album intriguing. I’m in no way gagging to buy it or put it on repeated plays, but the unusual twists that appear as the album progresses, with the semi-jazz interlude that appears in the middle of ‘Vampire (A Blood Ballad)’ do at least throw in curved balls and steer it away from the more standard outfits of the genre. That doesn’t disguise the fact that this album is heavy. It’s heavier than a bag of anvils carried by a herd of elephants. It plays with the grey matter as well though and that’s another reason why it is worth exploring.

There is a range of styles and patterns that make this album something that you’ll either switch off or persevere with. It’s not background music. ‘Glory Be 2 Misery’ has a nu-metal flavour that isn’t my thing either, although the instrumental ‘Suicide Watch’ showed the musical side of this vicious outfit. My advice – get stuck in and form your own opinion, for there is a lot to digest. It may have given me aural indigestion, but the passion and energy can only me applauded.

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