Unoriginal virtue: predictable sounds sell well

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Maryland quintet In Dying Arms released their latest record “Original Sin,” on April 1 of this year. Their first album with the label Tragic Hero Records, “Original Sin” is an obvious step towards complete deathcore, with In Dying Arms leaving much of the clean vocals that set them apart by the wayside.

At their start and up until now, one of the unique things about In Dying Arms was their use of post hardcore singing in the traditional (and occasionally generic) deathcore chugging sound. Such clean vocals hardly make an appearance on “Original Sin” though they do still appear somewhat in “Absence of Shame,” “Blackwater,” and “Dreamcatcher” most notably. The light screaming on “Caught in the Balance” makes them sound more like In Flames’ “Come Clarity” than anything else though.

Losing those vocals may have made the rest of the album weaker as well. Many songs, while all solid musically, sound like any other deathcore band. It’s difficult to differentiate this album’s sound from the likes of Carnifex, I Declare War, or Thy Art is Murder. The guitars and drums are mixed well, and everything does sound great. It’s just unimpressive and rehashed, with the only truly interesting track (lyrics included) being “Kingslayer,” which actually features Dan Watson, former vocalist for Infant Annihilator.

Even in looking at the cover of “Original Sin,” one could confuse it for Job For a Cowboy’s 2014 album “Sun Eater.” And Job For a Cowboy made the technical/deathcore jump too, specifically with “Sun Eater.”

At this point, it is clear that “Original Sin” is certainly lacking in that “original” part. When most of the songs sound like other, older albums and songs, maybe it’s time to actually find something new. Granted, this “old” sound really isn’t all that bad, and “Kingslayer” is worth it by itself. At the end of the day though, “Original Sin” is a solid deathcore album that won’t alienate current fans, but it won’t impress any new ones either.