Straight On Target - Pharmakos

The competitive struggle between hardcore and death metal leads you into the depths of one of the most hated genres in the music industry; Deathcore. Deathcore however being something I am fairly profound of, I can relate to the advantages of the more decent attributes involved, rather than the hate some bring forth to this underground style. In the early 2000's the deathcore genre began to break free, and that's when the bands who knew nothing about the genre quickly took over the internet, especially Myspace. These bands were Suicide Silence (RIP Mitch), Job For A Cowboy, Annotations Of An Autopsy, Carnifex, As Blood Runs Black, and there are tons more of these original bands I could name but I'll stop there. Since this blossoming of an evolved genre, deathcore seems to have settled a little, yet it's bands like Straight On Target who are able to update the masses of fans with their core roots, and influences that are easily noticeable from those mentioned above. 

'Pharmakos' is a relatively heavy as fuck album. The production is modern and crisp, as it should be. Pummelling, down-tuned riffs reign supreme amongst the album battling with trigger-like drum patterns, all topped off with annihilating vocals that you would most likely expect from a deathcore band. Mostly sticking to the low growls, vocalist Andrea Scaglia obviously has a passion for his influences as it reflecs in his capability to keep up with some of the bigger names in the scene. 

It becomes a problem recognising each track from one another until after about three listens to the album, like most genres of metal this usually ceases as a problem. However there are some tracks that stick out more than others, such as 'Demonized', a track which the band have an official music video for, and 'Initiation' which is my personal favourite from the album. The most productive aspect of the record is that it doesn't rely on breakdown after breakdown which some bands feel the need for. Either way I'd respect the choice the band have made being a heavy fan of this style for years, yet Straight On Target keep it simple, reducing technicality throughout without using tons of breakdowns along the way. 

Hailing from Italy, Straight On Target are setting their own targets worldwide, and to reach fans globally in modern times is not such a difficult task, especially when bands are capable of creating such violent and intense albums like 'Pharmakos'. Despite not bringing anything knew to the table, especially in the core realm, 'Pharmakos' proves the scene worthy, packing punch after punch which intend on hitting the fans harder than ever. Perhaps the album will scrape up some new fans along the way, but I'd say there's a lot more from Straight On Target to come in the future, for now this album settles as a corker in the underground which probably caters for a wider audience than you're actually guessing. 


1. Theta 
2. Ostrakon
3. Demonized
4. Wake The Apathetic
5. Dreadful Eyes
6. Initiation
7. He Spreads Hypocrisy
8. Synesthesia
9. Palms Leaves Reader