The Boy Will Drown - Fetish
Earache Records
Technical Deathcore
11 songs (30:56)
Release year: 2009
Earache Records
Reviewed by Goat

Deathcore is now at such a stage of development that it feels worthy of paying homage to the great elder Metal relics that helped to create our fine genre, and Norfolk-based ‘coresters The Boy Will Drown are no different, using a track on their Earache debut to pay homage to... Municipal Waste. Oh dear. Yet The Boy Will Drown are far from the usual Deathcore hordes, showing a clear self-awareness from debut full-length Fetish that proves they’re taking as much influence from the likes of Psyopus and Converge as they are from Suffocation, and it makes for an interesting album. The band are just as content to play spazzed-out technical pieces like Joseph Fritzl as they are breakdown-heavy moshpit anthems, and yes, disappointingly whilst their grasp of current events is laudable, the fact that a couple of tracks still have those breakdowns is less so.

It’s like they came across a perfectly good piece of technical Metal, and instead of accepting it for what it is the band send it down Deathcore alley to be mugged and beaten within an inch of its life. Why? What’s the point? Who will it impress? We’re in the year 2009, Deathcore breakdowns have been around for years – GIVE IT UP! Yet, even with these lamer-than-lame elements, Fetish still manages to sound about fifty times better than many of the Deathcore hordes, chiefly because the members are down with proper Metal as much as they are the knock-offs. This is what Cryptopsy’s Unspoken King would have sounded like were it actually any good – the technical elements are great, without a doubt. All four members are skilled at their instruments, something proven from the diverse Dead Girls alone, and it’s actually the songs on Fetish that give me hope for their future direction. Yes, The Boy Will Drown is a rubbish name, but once you’ve given their album a listen and realised that there are quite a few influences in the mix, then hope for a truly impressive album to come from this idiotic little genre arises.

Admittedly, it might take a while to see it, the likes of Barrymore’s Pool Party (fellow Brits will recognise what a cheeky track title that is!) seeming to trace a path long since set in stone by less worthy bands. Overall, however, there’s more influence from the likes of Sikth, the Jazzier influences making themselves known the more you listen, and there’s an intriguing Grind element to their diverse Deathcore. Impressively, the band have but a single guitarist, and he does the work of many, making for a decent amount of heaviness not unlike one of The Boy Will Drown’s stated influences – Napalm Death. Yes, I hate to admit it, but there are moments which Barney and co would be more than happy to nod along to here, mixed in with everything from Gojira to The Red Chord. Listening to Fetish is a rollercoaster ride, and not in a good way, as everything assaults your ears, yet The Boy Will Drown are better at throwing disparate elements in than are the likes of Iwrestledabearonce, and as a result Fetish is a helluvalot more listenable, coming across as a particularly experimental Tech-Death album more than anything else.

Whatever you think of the aforementioned Municipal Waste cover, the fact remains that try as I do to find fault with Fetish, it evades me; this album is excellent, fun listening for those bored to tears with the Deathcore phenomenon, proving that some bands out there can do worthwhile things with the genre even if they don’t step far from it. The Post-Rock influences on Dead Girls and Suis La Luna are but the tip of the iceberg for these guys, one thinks, and it’ll be interesting to see what The Boy Will Drown will come up with for their sophomore release. In the meantime, if you actually enjoy Deathcore for what it is then Fetish should definitely be on your list.

Killing Songs :
Deep Throat, Joseph Fritzl, Dead Girls, Suis La Luna
Goat quoted 78 / 100
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