AngelMaker levels listeners with a furious, focused, diverse, and violent extremity. Across a handful of split EPs and other releases, including two full-length albums, the Northern Vancouver seven-piece make their musical intentions clear. AngelMaker creates deathcore of the highest order, injected with blackened thrash, a smattering of power violence, and the urgent ferocity of underground hardcore.
Like genre standard-bearers Black Dahlia Murder, Despised Icon, and Whitechapel, AngelMaker summon the most brutal elements of Floridian death metal and combine it with the coldest permafrost of Scandinavian black metal, without the theatricality sometimes clouding the genres. The brand-new music unleashed by AngelMaker in 2021, crafted in recent months with producer Tim Creviston (Spiritbox, Misery Signals, Vultures), is the band’s most confident and destructive yet.
“We always strive to write music that makes people feel something emotionally intense,” explains singer Mike Greenwood, who shares vocal duties with Casey Tyson-Pearce. The triple-guitar assault of Coton Bennett, Matt Perrin, and Johnny Ciardullo, together with the rhythmic pulse of bassist Code Rideout, makes for a crushingly heavy, unforgivingly brutal, uniquely extreme metal sound.
AngelMaker reveres the old-school 2005–2010 era of deathcore, constantly reevaluating their own material to improve upon it with each release. The music combines with lyrics about personal struggles (fear, loss, sadness, anxiety), worldly ideas and concepts, and fantastical, cinematic themes.
“We are constantly pushing the boundaries of our signature sound, while staying true to the roots in classic deathcore,” says Greenwood. “There’s nothing more satisfying than having someone tell you, ‘This sounds like something I loved when I was growing up and just getting into deathcore.’ Nostalgia is such an intense emotion.”
As the band adapted to the concert-less conditions of the worldwide shutdown due to COVID-19, they crafted a release strategy to ensure their increasingly perfected modern deathcore is heard. The first eight tracks from the new album “Sanctum” appear as two-song “quadrants,” building anticipation for the eventual full-length, and keeping AngelMaker top of mind as a return to the road draws nearer.
The guys were all teenagers when the band formed (half of them even went to the same high school together) and began a decade long streak of independence that continues to this day. 2012’s Decay EP put them on the deathcore map. A three-way split EP with Lament and Isolations arrived the following year.
The band’s dual-vocal and triple-guitar composition allows for new and diverse explorations of extremity, setting AngelMaker both inside and apart from the traditions of the deathcore subgenre. As Greenwood points out, AngelMaker “continues to strive for the freshness of modern extreme music while bearing the coveted torch of the old-school deathcore sound. And if we can write songs that make listeners go through a sort of catharsis, then I think we have done our jobs correctly.” Beyond mere technicality and devastation, AngelMaker trade in emotion, eliciting unique feelings of sorrow, regret, anger, fear, and depression, taking listeners on immersive journeys within the songs.
As the British Columbian ensemble’s first new material in roughly two years seeps out from the underground in 2021, diehards and newcomers alike discover new revelations in their music. Now ten-years strong as an independent, do-it-yourself force, AngelMaker triumphantly stands tall.