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"Lifeless Design review at All Music"

Review by Greg Prato

There was a time when if you dared to merge an Iron Maiden-esque dual guitar harmony with barking hardcore vocals, you'd be severely scolded from the nearest mosh pit. But the tides had certainly turned by the early 21st century, when bands that grew up on both musical styles (which back in the '80s, were about as polar opposite worlds as you could get) began making waves. Case in point, Iscariot, and their 2006 debut effort, Lifeless Design. Singer Derrick Harding has obviously studied both Phil Anselmo and also the leading death metal growlers, as he alternates between both throughout the album's ten tracks (especially on the album opener, "The Gates of the Flames"). On the other hand, Iscariot's music is equal parts death metal and prog metal — tricky tempos and technically complex bits abound throughout. While there are indeed other outfits that mine similar terrain (Lamb of God, Unearth, etc.), it's not like this style is aiming for the top of the album charts. It's obviously all about the love of metal for the members of Iscariot, and for that, we salute you! -


Digital Single "Reinventing the Ghost" Released 7/11/05
Debut Full Length "Lifeless Design" Released 7/25/06



Forming after the break up of various other projects, Iscariot has accomplished a great deal since their first show in September 2004. Playing roughly ten shows a month regionally, Iscariot has made a name for themselves in both the metal and hardcore scenes of the Midwest. A DIY mentality has allowed Iscariot to play many shows in the Midwest and has proved for a steadily increasing draw. Selling well over 2000 burned copies of their November 2004 EP, Iscariot has entered the studio to record a new full length for 567 Records that will show the bands growth since their inception. Their older material barely began to touch on the possibilities of their solid lineup. Known for their extremely tight yet energetic live performances, Iscariot has made a push to display their technical abilities without losing focus on song writing and their overall style.

Iscariot has played many short tours as well as some extended tour dates. After their signing announcement, Iscariot toured the East Coast, playing 18 shows in 15 tour dates. After returning home Iscariot immediately began writing fresh material for their full length, spending time to perfect their material before entering the studio in December. Immediately after finishing recording, Iscariot will begin touring again. Iscariot has already completed tours in every month of 2006, and things are just beginning.

With their full length in stores, their touring opportunities are just beginning. Being relatively young (ages 19-24), the group has consistently shown growth in all areas of the band and show no signs of stopping. With their first national label release in July of 2006, Iscariot will be touring the nation in support of their new album. Setting a goal of 250 tour dates for 2006, Iscariot will be on the road all year long promoting their debut full length. This is just the beginning for the band, and their debut full length will prove to be a great stride in their progress.

Iscariot has played with national acts such as Evergreen Terrace, Calico System, On Broken Wings, It Dies Today, Harlots, Nehemiah, Twelve Tribes, Through the Eyes of the Dead, One Dead Three Wounded, Tony Danza Tap Dance Extravaganza, If Hope Dies, Embrace Today, Arsis, Paria, Taken, The Zimmermann Note, Last Perfection, Invocation of Nehek, Dead Poetic, Above This Fire, Fear Before the March of Flames, Light This City, Winter Solstice, Anterrabae, Alexis on Fire, Still Remains, and many others, not to mention hundreds of locals from across the nation.

"Lifeless Design was written with very specific goals in mind; write a relentless, brutal debut album that will leave a mark on the face of heavy music. Rather than rely on “flavor of the week” gimmicks, Iscariot has written an album full of intense riffs, breakneck changes, and exceptionally heavy music. Iscariot has made it a point to play fast; putting a modern spin on classic trash beats and riffing; a decidedly different path than the majority of new bands relying on breakdowns and watered-down Swedish metal to structure songs. Harmonized riffing, unyielding drumming, and exceptional vocal delivery permeate “Lifeless Design,” recalling what made extreme metal of the 90’s classic, without sounded dated, or just re-treading well worth paths. Riff after riff, Iscariot deliver well-crafted songs that are as memorable as they are merciless."

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