Fifth Ring - Masochist

Fifth Ring are a 3 piece international band formed from the ashes of Cthulu from back in 2012. Some of the members are from the U.S. and some from Taiwan, but together they continue to be that unstoppable force of deathcore that fans of the genre from the mid 2000s will surely enjoy. Plenty of breakdowns, not much room for progression or clean vocal sections like the route that modern deathcore seems to be going; those who enjoyed early Within Destruction or Whitechapel are surely going to enjoy "Masochist." The album is hateful but still enjoyable.

Right out the gates with 'Ten Horns' one can tell there is quite a bit of groove within the chugging breakdowns and a bit of Slaughter To Prevail energy here. The production is a little gritty to add edge to the music, but all the instruments still come across cleanly enough. Other tracks like 'Crimson Mask' have a bit more of a death metal/ groove metal tinge to them. Less breakdowns here but very anthemic vocal hooks and sheer pounding force of the drums. Like the earlier deathcore albums though, this tends to be the one sided meat and potato approach of the album, and fans looking for something a bit more varied might start to feel a little bored with the music, despite its fury. However, there is 'Dust To Dust' which breaks the typical deathcore formula and opts for some very melodic, if not drawn out, introductions before changing into the more familiar beast that listeners are used to with Fifth Ring. However, despite being an anomaly track, it still rings as one of the better pieces on the album.

Other pieces like 'Maggot King' have a bit more technicality to it that will appeal to fans of Brand Of Sacrifice. 'Waste' has hateful venom in the lyrics similar to Spite. And 'The Pit' is an ugly drowning hole of sonic chaos. All good things by deathcore standards. However, it might take a little more to full grab listeners' attention by today's expectations. A lot of the tracks on this album tend to sound the same after a while, although thankfully the fury never lets up. From the stomping 'Ten Horns' to the foreboding 'Lurking In The Open Wound' Fifth Ring stay true to the deathcore formula as best they can. Listeners will have to keep an eye on this band to see how they do.

3.5 / 5 STARS

1. Ten Horns
2. The Snake
3. Crimson Mask
4. Head On A Pike
5. Dust To Dust
6. Maggot King
7. Waste
8. The Pit
9. Lurking In The Open Wound

Self released
Reviewer: Colin McNamara
Dec 5, 2022

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