Album Review :
Destroy the Runner - I, Lucifer

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Artist: Destroy the Runner
Album: I, Lucifer
Label: Solid State Records

Review by: Jason B
Track Listing:
1. Crumbs For the Murder
2. Isabella’s
3. Mr. and Mrs. Cuckoldom
4. A Bag of Marbles
5. I, Lucifer
6. It’s Always Cold In Paris
7. A Pathetic Psalm
8. Luxuria
9. On Falling Leaf
10. A Novel Of War
11. A Mountain So Big, A Question So Small
When Destroy the Runner burst onto the scene in 2006 with their ferocious debut “Saints” they were filling four minute time slots of songs with familiar breakdowns, guitar solos and chug-a-chug riffs that would make the biggest of As I Lay Dying fans question whether vocalist Tim Lambesis had been replaced with another guy. Comparisons to that other band aside, it was a record that immediately had people talking. I remember seeing them on tour with August Burns Red and I went away saying that they were the most impressive metalcore band that I’d ever seen live. A beast of a record, “Saints” was extremely powerful, but it didn’t really distance the band from any of the other bands inside of the metalcore world. Thus, their cd quickly found a spot collecting dust on a shelf somewhere in my room. Now, in 2008, they’ve returned with their sophomore release “I, Lucifer”.
The first thing that stands out when listening to “I, Lucifer” are the vocals. Former vocalist Kyle Setter surprised everyone when he jumped ship in favor of pursuing other ventures, and the band scooped up Chad Ackerman to take over. While many fans and scene kids everywhere were wetting their pants in fear of what lay ahead, DTR were busy in the studio crafting some of the most impressive vocal melodies that this reviewer has heard in awhile. Every track on the cd is epic from a melodic standpoint. Much like Underoath, the band weaves and intertwines singing/screaming vocals and music together perfectly for a sound that is just as deep as it is mesmerizing. Unlike their previous effort, this record flows along so effortlessly. If “Saints” was an elephant in terms of explosiveness, “I, Lucifer” is a behemoth in the way that it captures melodies. It’s so good that it’s almost soothing.
From a musical standpoint the band is just as heavy as they were on their previous effort, but it’s just a different version of heaviness. For example, while there are still breakdowns they seem to have so much more of a reason to be there than the ones that were heard on “Saints”. What I mean to say is that instead of just filling space and putting breakdowns into their songs because that’s what metalcore bands do, DTR have advanced past that, seemingly now using breakdowns to their advantage to aid in their new sound because the flow of the song really called for it. Gone are the random guitar solos, but in their place can be found some of the more catchy and memorable guitar parts and fills that will be heard on any release in the genre this year. Every guitar part, every drum fill, every breakdown has a purpose. The result is a much more powerful, emotional, and memorable record than the majority of the releases of their counterparts in the scene.
While “Saints” seemed to be intent on pummeling the listener by trying to be the most brutal, take-no-prisoners metalcore record possible, “I, Lucifer” is content with offering the listener the chance to grow and mature with the band. One can almost get the sense that the lyrics from the song “Isabella’s” are almost like an anthem from the band to let the scene know that they are fine with what they’ve produced, what they’ve become, and where they are headed: “You cannot stop us, this is who we are”. Sophomore slump? Not a chance.
(8.5/10)
Standout tracks: Isabella’s, Mr. and Mrs. Cuckoldom, Luxuria, On Falling Leaf

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