Aug 2023 05

Album CoverTen56.
Album: Downer
Category: Metalcore / Nü-Metal / Industrial
Label: Out of Line Music
Release Date: 2023-04-21
Author: Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)


Metalcore and nü-metal by nature have sought to achieve new levels of brutality and heaviness, while also attempting a forward-thinking mentality with the infusion of hip-hop, EDM, and even industrial textures. With Downer, the Parisian quintet of Ten56. presents their “new level of uncomfortably heavy” with a brazen confidence that comes naturally to such seasoned veterans as they. Originally released over two EPs and now collected with two additional bonus tracks, the album delivers an onslaught of discordant riffs backed by dynamic percussion and programmed rhythms, led by Aaron Matts’ guttural roar addressing personal issues of addiction and mental health. It suits the metalcore formula to a tee such that Downer could almost be considered by-the-numbers for the genre outside of several tonal nuances and the sheer volume.

Guitarists Luka Garotin and Quentin Godet often adorn their playing with the requisite pick scrapes and strafing harmonics, creating those familiar squelches that when coupled with the snarling synth patterns evoke the deathly cries of an automaton in agony. The same can be said for bassist Nicolas Delestrade and drummer Arnaud Verrier as their rhythms match the mechanical precision of the samples and sequences without sacrificing their organic fury. This is especially evident on songs like “Shitspitter,” “Boy,” “Yenta,” and “Traumadoll” with their breakbeats, distorted pads, glitches, and bass drops intrinsic to both metalcore and EDM. In a similar vein, “Sick Dog” is almost catchy with the rhythmic and slightly cleaner vocals, and the subtle harmonization of the vocals in “Traumadoll” adds a touch of depth, but it’s when Matts foregoes the harshness in favor of vocoded hip-hop melodies on “RLS,” as well as in the divergent effects of the first bonus track, the latter backed by some rather angular guitar riffing, that Downer reveals its more musically approachable moments.

Of course, Ten56. makes good on the promise of being “uncomfortably heavy,” to the point that those unaccustomed to the blunt force of metalcore will likely find Downer downright unlistenable… but then, that’s the idea, isn’t it? As other bands like Seething Akira and The Browning balance out their aggression with snippets of accessibility, Ten56. employs an equal level of production and performance prowess to push their skills and the audience’s faculties to their breaking point. Approach with caution.
Track list:

  1. Exit Bag
  2. Diazepam
  3. Shitspitter
  4. Sick Dog
  5. Boy
  6. Kimo
  7. Yenta
  8. Traumadoll
  9. RLS
  10. Saiko
  11. Intruder
  12. Masque
  13. Ender
  14. Bonus
  15. Bonus

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