Following the band’s 2016 release Senseless Order, Pittsburgh’s Signs of the Swarm are proud to share a much stronger and brutal record in their latest effort, The Disfigurement Of Existence (Unique Leader). Rather than present cookie-cutter deathcore, the band turns the dial up on song structure and technicality, unleashing a sound that slams with great ferocity, ringing with gloom and chaos.
“Cesspool Of Ignorance” trickles in with an ominous progression of guitar notes, a nerving feeling setting in before the rest of the band joins in. With the roaring pummel of guitar riffs and utter hell of blast beats, an emotional tension begins to build, all before the progression shifts into all-out savagery. The guttural vocals and guitar riffs fuel each other in letting loose a barrage of madness. Without hesitation, “The Failed Breed” kicks things off with a feeling of insanity, as the drum work slams away, the guitar tone radiating with a feeling of madness. The material drops into a standard deathcore chug for a brief period of time, but continues to weave in strings of vicious melody and twists within the rhythm to keep listener’s entertained.
Signs of the Swarm does a terrific job of keeping their composition pumped with various inflections of sound and style, keeping the song structure from never staling out. Even when the band plays to a straight forward structure, what comes forth is a pure wave of brutality. The band's style of brutal slam and deathcore presents an overwhelming feeling of devastation in the heavy instrumentals and vicious vocals. One unique surprise on the album is the instrumental song “Guided into Serenity”; while the material rides with moments of intensity and heaviness, it takes an immense step back from the evil sound heard in the previous tracks. The drastic shift makes for much more than a welcomed interlude of sorts, but a pleasant song that displays even more of the band’s musicianship.
While “Nightcrawler” begins with a generic deathcore flow, it eventually spruces things up. It’s one of the few times on the record where a track doesn’t stand out in any special way, and is just a basic and to the point heavy song. “Descending Into Despair” picks things up, presenting a wild battering in the bass, with the vocals continuing to screech and growl in all their demonic glory. The drumming clashes away as the guitar plays to shifting tempos, rising to vibrant highs and sinister lows.
The Disfigurement Of Existence is a truly awesome record. It’s a proven testament that musicians can take the deathcore formula and give it a fresh spin. Each track comes with its own individuality, balancing a range of sound and style that keeps the album progressing at an ever building bedlam. By presenting hellish gutturals and screams, along with vicious instrumentation, Signs of the Swarm can be proud knowing they’ve created a record that tears away with absolute carnage and raw brutality.