Sense Of Slaughter from Irish metal band Dead Label is a release that flays the ear and twists the senses into taut and manipulated victims by the blistering sounds and songs on offer. The debut album from the trio is an impressive release and though it indicates the band has much more yet to come, for an introduction and start it is a strong, steady and satisfying release.
Part grindcore, part metal core and all metal, the album is full of contempt rather than venomous, fierce as opposed to being vicious and incessantly vindictive than brutal but still offers an intensity and uncompromising energy that is impossible to deny. From Celbridge in Ireland, the threesome of Dan O’ Grady (bass and vocals), Danny Hall (guitar), and Claire Percival (drums) made a mark almost from the off when forming in 2008. Within a year they won a nationwide battle of the bands event and followed up in 2010 with a debut EP, all placing them as a band to watch closely. Now with Sense Of Slaughter released via Rising Records February 13th, one can expect further enthused interest and a rapidly swelling fan base.
The band’s influences are cited as the likes of Machine Head, Lamb of God, and Pantera and many have compared them to bands like Bring Me The Horizon and Rise To Remain, all these spices can be found within the Dead Label sound. The one band that they also reminded of was UK metal band October File, scorched grooves and militant riffs to the fore both bands have the same relentless intent and drive. They also share the one thing that works against them to some extent, a forceful vocal that lacks diversity or variation. O’Grady is a fine vocalist and his delivery as caustic as the sounds rippling behind but the similarity to his attack and across the tracks for many will give a challenge to their focus and drop a veil over some of the striking and creative play the band dazzle with. It has to be said though that with the deeply agreeable riffs and grooves the band conjure up the album is at times irresistible and at worse thoroughly intriguing.
After the opening instrumental intro ‘Dead And Gone’ the album explodes with the impressive title track, the guitar of Hall flying around the ear like a malicious wasp and the rhythms of Percival battering with merciless disdain. O’Grady spews his coarse vocals to singe the ear as the grinding riffs wrap tightly around the senses. A strong start soon left in the shade by the stunning track ‘Reign’. Bass and drums drill constantly showing no wish to resist from their incessant tenderising of the ear. There is a Static-X feel to the track, the groove of the song harsh, metallic and permeating, to vein a song that is deeply enjoyable.
The album rattles along with a highly energetic and formidable intensity throughout, each song of a high consistency even if at times the mentioned similarity does distract from some of the variation within tracks. The flavoursome grove of the excellent ‘Dawn Of A New Age’, the ear splitting nastiness of ‘Self Immolation’, and ‘Assume Nothing’ along with ‘Reign’ are the stand out tracks though as mentioned all the songs offer nothing less than good wholesome and most of all enjoyable sounds. ‘Assume Nothing’ teases with belligerent riffs, machine gun like rhythms and a wanton groove that seduces and strips the senses equally. These songs give more than enough evidence to show Dead Label are a force in the making, already a very good and creative band, the future should see them really explore their sound to take it and them to higher and greater things.
For any limitations Sense Of Slaughter might have, and to be honest they are few, the album is nothing less than satisfying and impressively enjoyable, and the sure host of many and constant visits. Dead Label have taken another big step in their journey towards their own distinct heights. Watch this space as this trio is destined to be a band making deep and distinct marks on metal.