Hailing from Winnipeg, Canada is Annex Theory, one of the most promising (and impressive) deathcore bands on the scene right now. Their debut EP, Beneath the Skin is bombastic, melodic, progressive, and just absolutely amazing! Deathcore is usually a fairly dull genre, in my opinion at least, but the music on Beneath the Skin is anything but dull. Seldom do I come across a release with this much power, emotion, and technical mastery - especially from the weak modern deathcore scene. If you like your metal to be heavy, yet still progressive and melodic, Beneath the Skin is a must-have. Annex Theory has been one of my best discoveries this year; I simply can't wait to hear more from these guys.
Annex Theory plays a style of melodic deathcore, but with an additional progressive edge that gives them their own identity. I'm frequently reminded of bands like Between the Buried and Me, Raunchy, and Engel, even though Annex Theory is much more progressive than the latter two bands. There's also a distinct influence from the "djent" metal movement (Meshuggah, Periphery) as well as the Gothenburg melodeath scene (In Flames, Dark Tranquility). I also hear a tad of Crimson II-era Edge of Sanity in Annex Theory's music, most likely due to the keyboard work from Matthew Rutowicz. His synth work really adds an extra dimension to Annex Theory's music - as a keyboard player myself, listening to his fantastic playing is a lot of fun. The musicianship is stellar across the board, as is the crystal-clear production. I was actually really surprised by the quality of the production here; Beneath the Skin is a highly professional sounding product! Music this complex and powerful demands an excellent production, and that's exactly what Beneath the Skin has.
I must confess that I was absolutely blown away by this EP. I definitely wasn't expecting anything this amazing when I first acquired my promo copy. Annex Theory are one of the finest deathcore bands I've ever heard, and this EP is one that all fans of extreme melodic metal need to check out. Beneath the Skin is an excellent purchase for just about everyone, and a big 4 star rating is well-deserved. I'll be keeping a very close eye on these guys - I have a feeling they could really make a legendary debut full-length.
1. Beneath The Skin
2. Event Horizon