Knights of the Abyss


Candlelight Records 2007

Phoenix, Arizona's Knights of the Abyss churn out pretty standard deathcore that will appeal to fans of Job for a Cowboy and their ilk, who crave more of the same.  Somewhat faceless and boring KOTA do incorporate more Morbid Angel styled rhythms into their brutal arsenal than a lot of their scene-mates (Suicide Silence for instance).  But for the most part I hear chunky and brutal blasts with a crap load of stop-starts and awkward squeals throughout the album which I guess indicates how technically proficient they are as musicians but in the end it really just helps the songs blend together and mires them deep within the sea of other clones floating around out there.  Equally frustrating are the uninteresting and generic vocals of the frontman, Dustin Hadlock.  I pledge Agrievance is a perfect example of KOTA's formula, tough guy breakdowns that are slam inducing accompanied by the aforementioned guitar harmonics peppered throughout the track with no real emotion or purpose.  I do however like the one-time use of hardcore-style gang vocals on Megabrain.  I would certainly have liked to hear more of that.  Album finale, Dragon Pie, would be a guess considered a highlight for me as it uses some mildly melodic riffing which reminds me a tiny bit of Eucharist but it couples them with some stomping grooves.  There is nothing special about KOTA's Juggernaut album, perhaps next time they will invest some time in writing more memorable and inspiring material.  It is obvious there is talent within KOTA but they have a long way to go before they can be considered among the elite of the deathcore scene.