review published: 3/24/2014
Voiceless Location is a Swedish death metal/deathcore band. Since forming in 2009, they've released both an EP and a full-length titled Obedience. Since we've already thrown out the "deathcore" label, you probably won't be surprised to learn that the band cites both Whitechapel and Job For A Cowboy as influences. Fortunately, they aren't a one-trick pony as they also infuse elements of progressive metal (particularly of the djent variety, a la After The Burial). Keyboards materialize a few times as well, lending additional atmosphere. So although the band is largely derivative, they do forge enough of an identity to warrant existence, but only barely.
Perhaps it adequately sets the mood, but the intro track is relatively pointless. As such, the album really begins with track two, "Nevestor." An effective deathcore outing, the song rides a catchy riff through multiple tempo changes and a few tasteful guitar leads. Also present is the usual array of death metal vocals, with requisite lows and highs.
Following an unremarkable song titled "Defile The Immaculate" comes "Emerge," an enjoyable track with a cool middle section that features an appropriately evil guitar riff and a menacing vocal sample (it sounds like Vincent Price, with whom one can never go wrong).
On "Memorial Failure" the band slows things down noticeably, with a modern guitar groove and a few djent-styled sections for variety. It's a decent song, though nothing extraordinary.
Deathcore reasserts itself on "Circles" and "Xenoculture," the latter of which boasts a few nice touches, including a proggy guitar solo and brief jazz break. One also can't but think of The Faceless when some vocoder turns up, for better or for worse.
To my ears, there does seem to be a discernible difference between the first and second halves of Obedience. It could be completely coincidental, but Voiceless Location deviates from the typical deathcore formula more on the latter half, all while maintaining some semblance of continuity. The change is welcomed, but doesn't necessarily improve the final product as tracks "Lamentable Gloom" and "Thy Fallen Legions" come and go without much impact.
Luckily, Voiceless Location have no problem playing their instruments; the musicianship displayed here is on par with most of the established bands in this genre. Likewise, the album's production is also effective.
Obedience closes with "Decayed Structures and The Extinct," a solid track with several compelling parts. If they really want begin to emerge from the pack (why wouldn't they?), Voiceless Location would do well to expand upon some of the techniques employed here. I'm not sure if the acoustic guitar and guitar soloing at the end is needed, but I suppose it's appropriate that the affair fades out much the same way it faded in.
Bottom Line: If you like deathcore and death metal, you really can't go wrong with Obedience. Unfortunately, while they do give it their best shot, there's just not enough songwriting prowess here to differentiate Voiceless Location from the glut of like-minded bands; they're competent, but not excellent.
Track Listing: 01. Isolation 02. Nevestor 03. Defile the Immaculate 04. Emerge 05. Circles 06. Memorial Failure 07. Xenoculture 08. Lamentable Gloom 09. Thy Fallen Legions 10. Decayed Structures and the Extinct