The Last Ten Seconds of Life – The Last Ten Seconds of Life Review

The deathcore scene has hit the ground running in 2022, with new platters dropping thick and fast from heavyweights Shadow of Intent, Fit for an Autopsy and Worm Shephard. While I’m not the divisive subgenre’s biggest fan, I am not opposed to the style when it’s executed well. Part of the Unique Leader staple, The Last Ten Seconds of Life drop their self-titled album on the masses, bringing a nu-metal meets deathcore hybrid to the table. On closer inspection, the Pennsylvanian crew has been alive and kicking for over a decade, releasing a steady stream of albums, culminating in this sixth LP. Combining two of the more divisive metal styles of the post-millennium era takes balls, but do The Last Ten Seconds of Life have what it takes to make this odd combo a winner?

The Last Ten Seconds of Life bring the requisite energy, boneheaded grooves and testosterone-fueled angst to the equation, clearly enjoying what they do, tinkering with experimental elements within a framework of early 2000s nu-metal/alt-rock nostalgia and modern deathcore polish, complete with obnoxiously loud production values. On the heaviness front, The Last Ten Seconds of Life dish out some obligatory bouts of thick, deathcore brutality, booming bass drops, and the occasional blast section to compliment the array of heavier vocal styles, fluctuating in quality. To give credit where it’s due, The Last Ten Seconds of Life sound confident and comfortable within their chosen style, cramming diverse ideas and experimental elements into a messy concoction. Occasionally a groove or riff will crop up packing a decent punch, however, genuinely interesting or engaging moments are few and far between.

The results are subpar at best, as The Last Ten Seconds of Life deliver an overlong, generic, and occasionally cringe-worthy deathcore platter across 55 weighty minutes. The band deploys an ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ approach as meaty chunks of run-of-the-mill deathcore collide awkwardly with godawful emo-tinged clean vocals, dodgy rap growling, melodious atmospheric excursions, and an abundance of breakdowns and chunky downtempo grooves. However, the over-reliance on slow, drawn-out grooves saps momentum and hamstrings song dynamics. Breakdowns are most effective when surrounded by pulsating build-ups, when they arrive unpredictably, or sandwiched between speedier forays. While opener “Invictus Unto fire” features an effective dynamic punch, elsewhere results are far less appealing. “The Sabbath,” and especially “Birth of the Butcher,” wallow in chugville, trying their best to sound as heavy as possible but offering little substance, with the uneven vocal approach sounding forced and grating on occasions.

“Altar of Poison” is a confusing track, taking odd atmospheric detours, while fusing nu-metal angst with lowbrow deathcore. “Guillotine Queen” wastes a decent song title with a ponderous composition, trying way too hard to sound as tough, low and heavy as possible, but mostly succeeding in sounding forced and tiresome. Bad growl rapping, worse lyrics, and groove-centric deathcore stink up “Hate What You Love.” Shit gets worse in a worrying mid-album slump. The experimental “Vampire (A Blood Ballad)” initially comes across as a bad joke or parody, with awful clean vocals and lyrics. It’s a confusing, irritating, and forgetful experiment of nu-metal, emo and deathcore mediocrity. And the less said about “Glory Be 2 Misery” the better. Interludes/instrumentals feature as well, the last of which is the decent, uplifting closer “Procession,” ending the album on a more positive note

Overall, The Last Ten Seconds of Life largely miss the mark and fall short in a number of areas, leaving behind a confusing trail of disappointment, highlighted by forgettable songs and lackluster writing. Yeah it is fat and heavy to a degree, yet severely lacks an edge, and for all the album’s variety and melodicism, the execution is frequently awkward and clunky. The Last Ten Seconds of Life have been around long enough and are signed to a respected label to suggest they hit the spot for many listeners and obviously have a passion for their craft. Maybe I’m the wrong target audience for this particular brand of deathcore. However, the final conclusion is that the different elements comprising their nu-metal meets deathcore sounds fail to excite or gel across a bloated journey. Uneven writing, ill-advised experimentation, poor mastering, and clunky execution define a confusing deathcore album, better left behind.


Rating: 1.0/5.0
DR: 3 | Format Reviewed: 256 kbps mp3
Label: Unique Leader Records
Websites: uniqueleaderrecords.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/thelasttensecondsoflife
Releases Worldwide: 
January 28th, 2022

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