Published Jul 17, 2019As one of the innovators of deathcore, Despised Icon's Alex Erian carries some promise for any project. That promise includes machine-gun blast beats, frenzied guitar slamming and gutturals so low they move your bowels.
Obey the Brave take a very different approach. Erian's cred is beyond question, which allows him to dial it back and relax in a middle ground between brutality and something approaching post-hardcore. Balance is the least heavy thing Obey the Brave have ever put their name to; it's also some of their most interesting work yet.
Unlike the pig-squeal soup of Despised Icon, Erian's other project sounds more like arena-core on this outing. The influence of Parkway Drive, Beartooth and Hatebreed are felt on heavier numbers like "No Apologies" and "Reality Check," while the guitar stylings of Trivium loom over the epic "Smoke Signals." Obey the Brave embrace their Quebecois heritage with "Calme le jeu" ("To Calm the Game"), a song sung and growled entirely in French. It's sure to be a staple of any Montreal metal bar's playlist this summer.
Elsewhere, Balance lives up to its name. It has the perfect mix of heavy and classy, never bludgeoning the listener, but keeping them on edge all the same.
Obey the Brave just keep getting better. As deathcore morphs and changes, with major players shifting their sound away from the old hits, Obey the Brave could end up being a more exciting prospect then Alex Erian's other band. (Hell for Breakfast)