Emotion Killer - Tragic Life In A Modern World review


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Band: Emotion Killer
Album: Tragic Life In A Modern World
Release date: August 2020

01. Inside My Rage
02. Dark Inside
03. Postmodern Millennial
04. Vultures
05. Bully Me
06. Digital Heaven
07. Subside

Every now and then, I click through my promos on a whim, because I am stupid and unaware that I already have too much content I am supposed to be publishing in addition to my editorial duties. I enjoyed the first Emotion Killer song that popped up in front of me, but when I investigated a second, and then a third, I realized I was getting six different sounds in three different songs.

Emotion Killer isn't something you would label progressive or avant-garde or anything so high-brow, despite how many constituent styles I could list on paper; this is more the case of a band being able to move undetected across a spectrum of similar sounds than pulling a dragnet over all of music. Tragic Life In A Modern World, Emotion Killer's debut EP, has its foundation in what I'd call metallic hardcore, but what fits that description one minute often rejects it the next; anything adjacent, whether it be thrash or djent or metalcore or death, finds itself represented here. As long as the band can work up a frothy breakdown of some sort to accommodate the vicious vocal tirades of Shannon Loch, anything goes in the pit.

The hoarse growls and leathery percussion have a whiff of Cavalera about them, and the thrashier moments of the EP come with equally sepulchral jam-ups of matched upper- and lower-string riffs. Some passages stray towards melodeath, as on "Subside," and not just At The Gates-core. "Postmodern Millennial" is even, like, 10% Voivod. Perhaps the most interesting mix appears on "Bully Me," which has some electronic elements and a grungy groove that almost turns into a nu/alt rage track; each time it leans in that direction, the song instead bursts into some variant of death. The overall character of Tragic Life In A Modern World is very personally driven, fueled by Loch's own negative experiences, and while I don't often find myself absorbed in music having such a nature and also sounding like this, the bizarre comfort and confidence that Emotion Killer have in their ability to pull off these songs are infectious.

The performances and production could stand to be a bit tighter, but what makes Emotion Killer stand out is how refined the songwriting is for a first major release. "Postmodern Millennial" is a beautifully put together single, with a lot of hardcore crowd energy somehow funneled into a track that's both catchy and heavy. That's an easy favorite, but "Vultures" and "Bully Me" also come to mind; of course, it's a sub-30-minute EP to begin with, so it won't take up that much of your time, but based on the promise of Tragic Life In A Modern World I think we can expect great things from Emotion Killer as time and experience temper their abilities.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 7
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 7


Written on 28.09.2020 by I'm the reviewer, and that means my opinion is correct.

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