Released: 2006, 567 Records
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
Kill me now, please, before another MySpace metalcore band comes cold-calling and I have to slog my way through their “relentless, brutal debut album” as Iscariot’s DIY promo package promises. Okay, LIFELESS DESIGN is pretty gosh-darn heavy but it is pretty gosh-darn formulaic and generic, too. This same album has been done a hundred times before by bands like Unearth, Lamb of God and Darkest Hour who capture the moshpit-meets-Gothenburg vibe far better and, it should be noted, did so three to five years earlier. Iscariot bring absolutely nothing new to the table and LIFELESS DESIGN is about as fresh as that container of half-eaten Chinese take-out that got pushed to the back of your fridge six months ago.
Derrick Harding’s abrasive, throat-shredding is standard fare, with growls and roars delivered with plenty of self-assured aplomb. Adam Higgins and Justin Taylor do have some chops as demonstrated on the fretboard frenzy of “Dismembered Embrace” and fans of The Dillinger Escape Plan and Psyopus would be interested in what is heard on and “Hollowed Eyes.” Arpeggios are offered up throughout and technical flair is not withheld, either. The pair does have some skills. “Seventh Story Orchestra” moves along on a deliberate chug and Alex Quiles drumming shifts tempos fluidly from a basic beat to a jackhammer double bass fury. Likewise, “Our Lifeless Design” wavers between mid-paced melodic death and floor-punching hardcore but at over six minutes, some much-needed editing would have made the song far tighter.
While the guitarwork is pretty decent and for an indie release, the band has laid down a throttling production job, Iscariot just cannot be recommended or endorsed for plaguing the metal scene with yet another metalcore release. These things are being cranked out faster and with more hapless disregard than Britney Spears’ children by every band with a computer recording rig and an At The Gates album, so it takes something pretty spectacular to blow up my skirt these days. Unfortunately, LIFELESS DESIGN lives up to its name and Iscariot will surely fade away into MySpace oblivion with the rest of them.
KILLER KUTS: “Dismembered Embrace,” “Seventh Story Orchestra,” “Our Lifeless Design”