Like a developing nation suddenly catching up to the world

Oh deathcore, how you have changed.

Once the spoiled brat of the extreme music universe, all contrived song titles, neck tatts, barely digestible, samey-sounding mishmashes of overly-technical riffs, each one indiscernible from the next, constant blastbeat nonsense and vaguely similar breakdowns and band logos, it was like you had been conceived in a deliberate effort to make death metal, hardcore and grindcore all suck as much as possible.

Then like any clever offspring, you came to learn there can be more to life, and with it came evolution: not every song needs to sound like the same army of angry jackhammers smashing the same wall down. There’s stuff like subtlety and dynamics. First there was putting that dark ambient thing underneath every song. Then there was the discovery that guitars have more functions than just battering things, and other stuff like “catchiness” and “melody”, and that can be as cool (or cooler!) than  baffling brutality.

So producer guy Will Putney – guilty as any of the faceless sameness crimes of the genre – and his band move on further from their earlier self-imposed restraints to a “post-deathcore” (not a thing) horizon with a new album that throws shapes at thrash, catchy grooves and a sense of epicness with that now pretty-familiar atmospheric undercurrent thing that everyone uses running beneath every track. It’s definitely an evolution of their style, and they are talented enough to make it work, but the adding of melodic auras to tracks like Two Towers, adding some spicy world-flavoured aspects, experimenting with different beats and some progressive curveballs like The Man That I Was Not, playing around with fade-outs and dropping in extended guitar solos – while very welcome – makes Oh What the Future Holds come across like FFAT is a developing nation suddenly having the means to catch up to the rest of the world.

Like a teenager leaving their childhood behind, this feels a bit like Fit For an Autopsy have just discovered that Gojira are cool and no one cares that much for deathcore anymore – it’s bringing them up to speed, but it still isn’t quite their own thing. We’ll see.

Oh What the Future Holds
Pandora
Far From Heaven
In Shadows
Two Towers
A Higher Level of Hate
Collateral Damage
Savages
Conditional Healing
The Man That I Was Not