The Stygian Complex - Self Titled
Fresh out of Lexington, North Carolina comes THE STYGIAN COMPLEX - a three piece deathcore outfit - who just dropped their brand new, debut self titled album this past week. If you dig your deathcore heavy as fuck, hard-hitting and with plenty of pit material, The Stygian Complex got you covered. The band packed this album out with six full tracks, a gnarly breakdown-heavy intro, and instrumental versions of all six tracks - so for a debut album, they've definitely hooked it up with plenty to listen to. The Stygian Complex contains all the good stuff about deathcore that I love - from violent and brutal breakdowns to absolutely menacing vocals to wicked guitar work and blast beats for days - which is part of the reason why this album is just screaming to be heard. In a genre that is often considered played out and over-saturated, TSC have managed to put together a debut record that makes them stand out just a little more than your average deathcore band. It's brutality from beginning to end, so if that's your thing (and I'm assuming it is!) then "The Stygian Complex" is no doubt for you.
The Stygian Complex wastes no time throwing their heaviest and hardest at you from the get-go; the "Intro" track is essentially one massive breakdown that - if played live - will definitely get the crowd going and ready to smash some skulls (especially when it slows down just a hair, it will be enough to get the moshers going without a doubt). Absolutely sick and a perfect way to kick this bad boy off - and its arguably one of my favorite intros to a record in a while, it's brief, to the point, but doesn't waste a second on anything less than sheer brutality. And that gracefully leads us right intro the next track "Dead Mind" which will be your first introduction to the evil as fuck vocals Kyler Cheek belts out on this record. Layered between this massive sound that guitarist/bassist Brandon Stuck and drummer Cody Benge deliver are these screams and growls that are all over the place in terms of range; one moment you'll get these demanding high-pitched shrieks, and in the next moment, the gates of Hell are kicked the fuck open as these squeals come in that just hit you in the gut, it's so goddamn good. This dude definitely has the range and the talent to be up there with the greats, and for listeners who are usually picky about their vocalists, I don't think you'll have much of a problem liking the vocals you'll hear on this album. "Dead Mind" has plenty going for it, though - from this angry chug intro to Cheeks' slammy squeals to that gnarly breakdown, this track is packed with three minutes of insanity and it would probably be my go-to track to show these guys to a new listener. "B.I.H." follows-up the murderous breakdown at the end of "Dead Mind" but the madness didn't end with the last track - "Burn In Hell" has its own crushing guitar work in it that is just as punishing. A beautiful, melodic guitar solo mid-song leads right into pandemonium as a breakdown hits so goddamn heavy you won't know what the fuck to do with yourself. I get that breakdowns aren't for everyone - but for those of us that can't get enough: this is how it is done. There's no question that the trio that make up The Stygian Complex are fans of the genre; it feels like they are writing something as wicked as they would want to listen to, and it shows, even in just the breakdowns alone. They aren't just pulling your everyday breakdown - they make it sound absolutely mental, which is why I can't stress how important it is for deathcore fans to give this a listen.
The following three tracks keep the momentum going and the guys definitely do not let up at any point. Guitarist/bassist Brandon Stuck throws together some riffs that will do one of two things to you: either you will be banging your head uncontrollably, or you'll be punching a hole straight through the nearest persons head. And as Benge continues to pulverize his drum kit to pure ash in the form of blast beat goodness, you'll find this is a record there's no possible way to stand still while listening to. "Hellworld" and "Gutfuck" continue to show Cheek's various vocal styles, but "Gutfuck" with definitely his best performance on the record just because as a listener, you'll hear all of these voices being thrown at you, and they all sound totally sick until you realize it's all coming from the same dude... makes it just that much more bad ass. Plus not to mention the relentless heaviness that comes along with it in terms of damning guitars and crushing drum work. These three have managed to put together something with such quality and heaviness that bands with six people struggle to achieve - if that isn't saying something of the talent these guys bear, then I don't know what is. The Stygian Complex closes out the record (minus the instrumentals) with "TSC" - a track which they brought in none other than Bryan Long of Dealey Plaza; further proof that these guys are fans of the deathcore genre. And damn does it sound good to hear Long on a new track - and on The Stygian Complex, no less; a perfectly crafted pair that, after hearing it, makes complete and total sense. "TSC" is an absolute BEAST of a track, packing one of the meanest punches we've gotten from a deathcore record in a while.
If you haven't caught on by now, let me put it this way: The Stygian Complex have a disgusting amount of potential to be 2019's gem. Very rarely do you come across a new band who fucking nail it right out of the gate. This album will appeal not only to fans of deathcore but of death metal and even hardcore, because it's all in there in one shape or another. "The Stygian Complex" is one record I'd kill to hear played live, and like I said, you can already predict the crowds response simply based off the sound these guys put together. These tracks are an epic start for TSC, and if this record hits the ears of the right people, the band has the potential to blow the fuck up. Soulless Cult can't recommend this one enough: listen to The Stygian fucking Complex.