Cytokine are going to be a new name for most folks, though people active in the New England metal scene may recognize a few names on their roster, as the group is made up of veterans from their local scene. The band has a debut EP, The Cytokine Deception, coming out April 9 as an independent release.

The debut EP consists of 5 distinct tracks, some with a fairly progressive bent to them. The songs themselves have a conscious intent to them, tackling themes such as hypocrisy, nostalgia, and personal relationships. Their single “Man on Fire” in particular tackles themes of ego and hypocrisy, inspired by things they would see fellow musicians turn into after some success.

Those who are ardent deathcore fans will find a lot to love here, especially in the tracks “Man on Fire” and the final title track. Those who aren’t staunch supporters of the genre will still find enough to hold interest as Cytokine breaks the mold somewhat frequently, though personally I’d like to see some more digging into that experimental/outside genre influence to see something even more cutting edge come from them.

I like the idea of a more conscious lyrical and thematic approach to the lyrics as opposed to the usual gore fest that’s been tread over a thousand times before in death metal and deathcore, though the opening track “Camwhore” does raise my hackles a bit in terms of what they may think they are tackling there.

All in all I think there’s a lot here for deathcore fans, and plenty to keep those who are more lukewarm on the genre interested. As a debut release it’s very commendable and you should keep your eyes open for more work from these lads.

Check out Cytokine here.


Ben Serna-Grey is a musician and writer from the Pacific Northwest. His fiction and poetry have appeared in Apex Magazine, Bending Genres, Broadswords and Blasters, Two Cities Review, and others. He has sheet music published through Subito Music Publishing and also puts out experimental electronic/noise music as Mother Anxiety. He is also a contributor for Toilet Ov Hell and occasionally reviews short fiction on SFF Reviews.

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