Wednesday, 17 September 2014

The Dead - Deathsteps To Oblivian (CD Review)

01.Maze Of Fire
02.Disturbing The Dead
03.The God Beyond
05.Deathsteps To Oblivian

Adam Keleher (Guitar/Bass)
Chris Morse (Drums)
Mike Yee (Vocals)

Formed in 2005, The Dead line-up included members of veteran Australian death metal bands such as Obfuscate Mass (Mike Yee) and Misery (Scott Edgar). They recorded a couple of demos and a single.
In 2007 they released their self-titled debut full length album. The Dead was a raw, ugly, repulsive and yet fascinating album with amazing catchy hooks and doom-influenced groovy parts. It was a beast of a death metal album that shook the world from down under.

Following the debut, guitarist Scott Edgar left the band due to musical differences. Undeterred and determined to prove their effectiveness as a three-piece unit, The Dead once again went into the studio to record a near 30 minute EP and released it independently. Recorded LIVE in the studio, Nocturnal Funeral, as it came to be called, captured The Dead's actual live sound, their raw unbridled energy and terrific group dynamics that very few bands can boast of.

In 2009 The Dead self-released their second full length album Ritual Executions which was limited to only 100 copies. It happens to be the band's doomiest material, so much so that many people consider their original death metal categorization to be misleading. In 2010, specially for the Diabolical Conquest Records version, Ritual Executions was re-mixed and re-mastered by none other than Aphotic Mote of the famed death metal band Portal.

Starting with 'Maze Of Fire' and some demonic backwards masking effects on the vocals, what follows is an atmospheric sludge fest with some seriously cool bass playing.
Half way through the song mellows out for quite a bluesy guitar solo and then returns to the slow sludge.

'Disturbing The Dead' has a very "live" feel to it, the crashing of the cymbals really coming through as if they were right in front of you, the riffs are slow and solid and the vocals is as low a growl as is humanly possible.

A total change of pace for full on speed/death metal and 'The God Beyond' blows this album wide open, the drums almost sound electronic and the guitar riff is a bit high pitched.Seems that fucking with your head is now in order as the song stops and then introduces a much slower and melodic instrumental passage and what sounds like female harmonising backing vocals but i suspect it may be a harmonica, or neither or both?
Either way this song certainly sticks out!

Unsure now what to expect as the next track 'Terminus' begins, slightly weird musical introduction, almost and i say this carefully, almost a country music style.
Even when the drums and distorted guitar kicks in, this still has that strange country feel, whats this then Death & Western?
Very weird track, good, but weird.

Finally the title track 'Deathsteps To Oblivian' opens with some distortion and feedback on the guitar, then this one sticks to the funeral doom genre, well so far anyway and in fact remains that way until the end.

A very surprising album, goes beyond what you normally expect and throws in the odd moment of weirdness just to keep you on your toes.

Rating 9/10
For fans of: Sunn 0))), Triptykon, Mistress, Boris, Shadow Of The Torturer


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