Michael Leo Valeri delivers a spectacle of seismic riffs in this playthrough of Brand of Sacrifice's Animal

You might think the path of deathcore is pretty well-trodden from a creative standpoint, but bands like Brand of Sacrifice show there are still plenty of avenues to explore.

Aside from their ability to harness the power of sonic chaos to create startlingly complex yet ultra-tight arrangements, the Toronto quintet's attention to detail when it comes to other aspects of music – imagery and overall experience – is second to none.

Bursting onto the scene in 2019 with their crushing debut album God Hand, the band now look to turn scores of new fans with their sophomore effort Lifeblood, which drops March 5. And based on the trio of singles released thus far – Lifeblood, Demon King and Animal – the album looks to be one of the guitar highlights of 2021.

A cursory listen to Animal leaves you dying to find out how it's played, and fortunately, guitarist Michael Leo Valeri is on hand to reveal all. 

Valeri plays an ESP STEF-T7B Baritone 7-string guitar – tuned to F-C-F-A#-D#-G-Ab – through a DigiTech Whammy pedal, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface and STL Tones Will Putney software amp modeler

“Lots of down picking in this one!” Valeri says. “In a live setting, pitch shifting and guitar FX would be automated on the backend to completely eliminate the use of any pedals, however we wanted to demonstrate how someone could play this song at home with minimal gear or DAW knowledge (which is why this rendition is a little different). Plus, who doesn't love playing around with a Whammy pedal?”

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Sam Roche

Sam was Staff Writer at GuitarWorld.com from 2019 to 2023, and also created content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar.