DESPISED ICON - The Healing Process

By Korgüll The Destroyer - Metal for Supper - The Afternoon Edition - 04/05/2005

This is one intense album. Local band Despised Icon’s latest album, The Healing Process, is some of the most brutal music to come out of the city since Cryptopsy. Come to think of it, the two bands have several things in common: both are from Montreal, both are signed to Century Media, and both manage to keep their sound from becoming mindless, mind-numbing brutality by injecting a high degree of technical skill into their music. The similarities end there, however.

There really isn’t anything to complain about on this album. The guitar work of Eric Jarrin and Yannick St-Amand play well off each other and is the driving force behind this assault, along with the intense drumming of Alex Pelletier. Vocalists Alex Erian and Steve Marois add variety to the screaming, but if you really wanted to nitpick, you could probably think of a few other vocalists in metal that hit all the same ranges. Lastly, bassist Sebastien Piché is kept mostly in the background, holding the songs together.

The Healing Process, the band’s Century Media debut, shows Despised Icon putting a lot of effort and thought into their hardcore-tinged style of brutal death metal. For all its technical savvy, however, The Healing Process unfortunately lacks enough catchy moments to make a truly memorable album. Aside from the simple though enjoyable guitar riff toward the end of “Retina”, nothing really stuck in my mind after the 30-minute pummeling comes to an end.

So when everything is settled, what we have here is a very talented band that just falls short of putting out an album that truly reflects their talent. It’s definitely a step in the right direction though, and the next album should be something that will really leave its mark.