I think the young men in Facedown Records band Gideon may have accidentally created a new genre of heavy music. The as of yet named new genre can best be described as “melodic djent-core”, a style of melodic hardcore laced with the djent style of guitar playing that so many deathcore and heavy metalcore bands play to death. Having said that, the band picks up where they left off with their last album 2011′s blistering debut Costs. As good as Costs was, the band’s latest release, Milestone, is even better.
Musically, the album is very similar to the band’s previous work, however a few aspects stand out that help to set this new album apart from it’s predecessor. The first being the maturity in composition. At times Costs, felt like it wondered off into “breakdown-core” territory to cater to the more breakdown obsessed concert goers. With Milestone, this is not the case. Breakdowns, although featured in every track, come off as well written and fit into the music logically, neither feeling forced nor feeling like it was included just to keep the crowds moving when played live. The second aspect is the djent riffs that are used. the riffs seem to be played in a higher tuning than the super low tuning’s that the deathcore set use. This highlights the melodic hardcore riffing that is featured more prominently on the album.
The third aspect that makes the album sound so amazing is the production. Plain and simple, Milestone sounds HUGE. The production although slick and polished, is never overbearing. When things need to sound raw they do, but otherwise, this album sounds sharp. The album’s producers did a great job of walking that fine line between good digital production and that all too familiar slick over-processed sound that plagues albums that would otherwise be fantastic. Kudos to the production team.
Lyrically, the band does a great job of mixing up the topics, be it friendship and family, the glimmer of hope in addiction, or the call for us believers to show unbelievers the love we’ve been shown by Jesus. When it comes to spreading a message, a lot of times the message can be either diluted or strengthened by the messenger. In Gideon’s case it is strengthened. Their vocalist Daniel McWhorter has a passionate style that switches between a mid range growl and a deeper growl that becomes apparent the more urgent the message is. The band also does a great job of placing gang vocals throughout the album, and adding clean vocals in a few spots that add to the overall package.
Some of my favorite tracks are the gang vocal ridden “No Acceptance”, the beautiful piano and acoustic guitar driven title track, which helps give the listener a dynamic break in the raging hardcore. “Gutter” with it’s perfect mix of djent chugging and hardcore tempo, and “Maternity” with it’s more melodic tendancies. Although I only mentioned a few, every song on this album is well written and could be mentioned above.
Rating: 8/10. The promise that Gideon showed on their debut album was validated on Milestone. This album has given the Burial’s new album from earlier this year some competition as the labels best release of the year. I am even more excited about the future that Gideon has. This band could very well be Facedown Records premier band for the next few years.