Odessa - Ukraine - Wolrd
Rushing through the metallic jungle of Frontcore is like trying to run on a road into oncoming traffic. Cars some at you zipping past with their throttles mashed to the floor, with only an occasional break between cars. Frontcore is the brainchild of Vladyslav Smyrnov from Odessa, Ukraine. He brings a unique blend of jungle breaks infused with heavy guitar riffs onto the scene.
Metallic Jungle Of Frontcore
This could be a dream or a nightmare for many listeners. It could be the dream of death metal meeting the word of breakcore and jungle electronica. Or, it could be the utter destruction of everything that is dark and unholy in the world of metal music. So, which is it? That will widely depend on the point of view you bring to this music.
Frontcore started when Vladyslav Smyrnov took a cover of Deep Purple’s ‘Into The Fire’ by Amatory and fused it with Jungle drums and breaks. This proved to be a popular version of the song that eventually was used in the soundtrack for a video. From this beginning, Smyrnov began working more metal based infusions of jungle style with metal.
The fact that this mashup of styles works well together is due to the original metal songs don’t lose their identity during the transformation process. The songs on Frontcore sound largely as if they were just lifted off the original recordings. Adding a bit of drum breaks and messing with the sequencing of the tracks a bit really just leaves one with the impression that there is little that is actually creative in these works that wasn’t already present in the original songs.
So, is it a dream or a nightmare? My perspective is that there hasn’t been a lot that has made a lasting impression on me about metal in the last 20 or so years. The trope of most dark/death metals has become a trope. There is little distinguishing one group from another, and even those elements that do distinguish groups are thin veneers of style that aren’t really substantive.
I am largely a fan of jungle and drum and bass styles of electronica, although I think it has become a rather tired style in the past several years. I can’t say that I’ve heard a lot that has grabbed my attention in the same way that a lot of dub, reggae, and roots music has (like the Don Goliath recording I review earlier).
What does this leave me with? This is a well produced recording. The addition of jungle and breakcore beats is well matched, and has a natural feel to it. However, I don’t have a feeling that there is a lot of transformation going on in this process. It’s just mashing together two styles to intrigue an audience that happens to be in the cross-section of both metal and jungle music. So, while it is good, don’t expect to find anything revelatory in this work.