I have to say, nothing pleases me more then coming across a band that plays their music with a sense of purpose. A band that can carefully craft their compositions and deliver their songs with crushing power and compelling emotion. Metalcore enthusiasts Survivalist out of Racine, Wisconsin are a prime example of the aforementioned criteria. With their latest three song EP, Ascendance, the Midwest quartet demonstrates their ability to construct songs with the perfect balance between graceful melodies and emphatic breakdowns.

Survivalist offer a very straight forward approach to their music and do not get caught up on technicalities so much. Throughout Ascendance it is easy to pick up on this band’s chemistry and recognize the solid structure of each track. From the start, “Voices,” begins with a build up which evolves into sheer uproar. Already present from the beginning of this EP is singer Justin Montemar’s use of different vocal ranges. From harmonious cleans to sturdy growls, Montemar compliments each musical switch-up with a different style from his inventory. Survivalist produces a sound that adheres to the early 2000s era of metalcore, similar to Atreyu and Haste The Day. There is also an element of Messenger era August Burns Red which is prominently heard on track three, “Trustfall.” Assembling extremely tight breakdowns, low growls and detailed guitar licks, “Trustfall” concludes the EP with the heaviest segment of the entire release.

                   It is with a heavy heart that I say Survivalist have decided to call it quits after a three year run as a band. This review for Ascendance was in honor of the great sound that this band was able to achieve in a short period of time. To say that it is a shame this band won’t be releasing anymore material is an understatement, but I sure hope to see future projects featuring these talented musicians. As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end, but for them, I feel it may have been to soon. Be sure to check our their farewell show on October 1st at Hattrix in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Details are featured on their Facebook page which can be found below.

Survivalist - Ascendance (EP) (May 20, 2016)


- Sean McLennan


Hear the band's interview with us here!


Survivalist is:

Justin Montemar (Vocals)

Dan Beltran (Guitar)

Cory Powell (Guitar)

Ryan Mooney (Drums)

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             Back in May, I wrote a review for the merciless new release from Chicago death metal specialists, Ditheist, titled Eternity of Nothingness (Oct 2015). While listening to that album it became clear to me that these guys had a way of pleasing fans of aggressive music. Ditheist is a band that pride themselves on composing classic style death metal tunes and delivering each song with vehemence. Since I wrote that review, it came to my attention that not only did these guys release an EP back in 2008, but this EP just so happens to kick a whole lot of ass.

Seduction of Demons, the debut EP from Ditheist, is four songs of fast-paced death metal, full of catastrophic riffs and completely drenched in belligerence. Bearing resemblance to their newest release, Seduction of Demons spews out songs of depravity and torment, transmitting affliction to all who listen. Musically speaking, this release sticks to a formula similar to that of older Dying Fetus, Misery Index and Deicide, which includes hammering double bass and stirring string work. A spark is ignited from the very beginning of the opening track “Vengeance is Mine,” which lyrically describes a revenge style homicide; all the way through to the more complex, “Twilight of Burrough’s Asymmetry.

             With Seduction of Demons, Ditheist have shown a great deal of skill early on in their career, which has undoubtedly lead to a well built future in this industry. With two solid releases under their belt and a passion for exposing the destructive tendencies of human nature, there will be no slowing these guys down."

 - Sean McLennan


Members of Ditheist:

Konrady Lysak - Guitars

Narcyz Fortuna - Drums

Luke Voelz - Vocals

Jarek Badzioch - Bass

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