Sound: Let's start this off by me saying one thing: I am a deathcore fan. I'm big on bands like Suicide Silence, Chelsea Grin and Whitechapel, and was expecting if not a unique listening experience, than at least a fun one from I Declare War. What I got was neither. I Declare War are one of the most bland, boring bands out there, not just in deathcore, but in ANY genre. The guitars sound muffled and are almost headache inducing, the drums are generic, the bass almost non-existent... It all adds up to a sludgy mix that truly doesn't sound like any of their contemporaries... Because it's much worse. // 2
Lyrics: When prompted to analyze the "singer's skills" on this album, I thought, "What skill?" He lacks any kind of range, and is almost more boring than the music (if that's even possible). He repeats the same vocal techniques over and over, making listening to this album almost completely intolerable by the time "Extermination Process" kicks in.
Lyrically, again, (and not trying to be flat out mean) I Declare War flat-out suck. For an example of this, one needs not go any further than the first vocal song "New Age Holocaust". "The new world order is taking over the world in which we live/Trying to purify a master race/just like the Nazi's in the 1940's." While there is a message to be conveyed here, it comes off less like song lyrics and more like a propaganda handout. // 2
Overall Impression: For anyone that claims this band is "revolutionary" or "truly stand out in their genre" you really need to re-evaluate your stance. I Declare War are, in summation, everything that is wrong with deathcore (boring vocals, bad transitions, little distinction between songs) and none of the good (i.e. vocals with range, fast and technical playing, not being I Declare War). I was expecting quite a bit out of this album when I first bought it, and went in with a very open mind. The only good that came out in the end, however, was an exchange at my local music shop for a decent album.
For fans of: nails on a chalkboard, The Acacia Strain, Whitechapel. // 3