022: SHRINE OF MALICE

Shrine of Malice are a relatively young deathcore band from Nevada, and what they lack in experience they make up for in pure, unbridled, face-punchery. Musically they take some influence from more technical genres, as well as touches of grind and black, to produce brutal, confronting, powerhouse riffs and blast beats. Their proficient and polished sound betrays their relative inexperience, and only raises questions of just where their sound will end up once they have a few more albums under their belt.

Of course, as anyone who has heard Shrine of Malice will tell you, you can’t discuss the band without mentioning those monstrous vocals. There’s a sort of archetypal vocal style for modern deathcore. There’s nothing wrong with that, it clearly works, especially when backed by solid instrumentals, but when someone does something… different… well, it’s hard not to take notice.

Greg Gilbert takes things well beyond the template, by actually not sounding at all human. His vocals are demonic, inhuman and, for the unprepared, pretty confronting. His highs are unexpected but just complete the whole sound masterfully.

For a genre happy to stay in its (admittedly fantastic) lane, deathcore can still turn heads when a band pushes beyond the framework. Shrine of Malice are a monstrous, brutal band, with utterly demonic vocals that hit you like a punch in the throat.