Halo of Gunfire
Conjuring the Damned
Obliterating death metal that we’ve all heard countless times before
There are so many death metal bands out there that focus solely on the objective of making the heaviest, fastest, most obliteratingly ear bleeding music possible, with little regard for anything else. Whilst this has proven to be a sure thing for death metal fans of the past, I just don't think it works anymore. Not when you consider that bands such as Cannibal Corpse, Death and Napalm Death have already done this album after album to an impossibly high standard.
Halo of Gunfire, hailing from California in the US, have been around as a five piece since 2006. Whilst they claim that their music is deathcore, the new album 'Conjuring the Damned' shows that they have strayed from those roots into more of a standard death metal style. Halo of Gunfire are about one thing; short, intense tracks of unrelenting instrumentation and unintelligible growls.
This concept gets boring pretty damn quick, with only a few minor things awakening my interest in the album. There is definitely some instrumental talent behind the band, including some lead guitar wizardry on the opening instrumental 'The Summoning' and 'Oh the Horror', the latter of which is my favourite track due to its more accessible deathcore structure. The title track is a technical, modern styled piano interlude that has a haunting undertone, but despite these things little can save this album from repetition.
Included at the end of the album are three tracks from the band's 2008 Demo, which clearly show their deathcore roots. These three tracks are far more vibrant and interesting than any of the new tracks included on the album, and it’s a wonder that they didn’t stick to the formula that they so clearly had a massive talent for.
Halo of Gunfire are headed in completely the wrong direction with their style. The songs are mediocre at best, with too much focus on fast, brutal shredding and not enough focus on quality, creative and original songwriting. Only those who have yet to discover bands like Cannibal Corpse and Napalm Death will find solace in 'Conjuring the Damned'.
(Unique Leader Records/Stomp Distribution)