Published Sep 26, 2009"I'm trying to describe us as more of a modern death metal band," says Alex Erian, one half of Despised Icon's aggressive vocal tag team, on the band's latest release, Day of Mourning. "On this record especially, our old-school death metal roots shine through a little more; we pay homage to Dying Fetus and Suffocation on a couple of riffs."
Day of Mourning is the Montreal, Quebec band's fourth full-length release; in the last few years, they've helped lead (along with Ion Dissonance and Beneath the Massacre) a renaissance in death metal from the province. "There's always been talent in Quebec, I just think our scene is finally getting the recognition it deserves," Erian says. "Cryptopsy and Voivod helped pave the way for us and hopefully we get to open doors for younger bands. I'm just really supportive and proud of everything that's been coming out of Quebec in the past couple of years."
With Day of Mourning, Despised Icon add some new elements, such as more melody, guitar solos and intricate drumming. "We worked a little bit more on the technical aspect of our music," Erian explains. "It's still obviously Despised Icon, but we like to make it fresh for us and our listeners; we don't want to always put out the same record." Erian describes the new Despised Icon album as superior to anything he's worked on in the past. "Musically I think it's a bit more extreme than our previous records, a bit more focussed as well; if you look at the song structures, everything flows a little better on this new record."
But the new record didn't come without some struggles. Prior to the writing process of Day of Mourning, guitarist Al Glassman left the band to join Arizona's Job For A Cowboy. And although the band have moved on by enlisting Ben Landerville to replace Glassman, there are still some hard feelings. "Fuck Al and fuck his band," Erian declares. "I've known Ben for years and he's just somebody that's way more motivated than [Glassman]."
Despite the member changes, Erian explains that everything worked out for the best and even provided inspiration for their songwriting. "The topic of this record is separation, whether it's making enemies out of friends or failed relationships or losing a loved one. Day of Mourning is a really strong image that I think portrays that accurately," he says. "I hate saying this because it's something band members are obligated to say, but this record is my all-time best and I mean it truthfully; it comes from the heart."