Though new to German deviants Dead, listening to their new album Hardnaked… but Dead one can tell they do not take themselves particularly seriously and nor should we. Musically the band are skilful, deliberate, and creative with their death/black metal groove grinds, but lyrically and in theme there is one giant tongue in cheek, the band all mischief and dripping pervy intent.
The history of Dead comes in two parts, the first with their formation in 1990, their sound pure gore-grind inspired by the likes of Carcass, Pungent Stench, and Autopsy. A demo, EP’s, split EP’s and two full-length albums followed before disbanding when one of the members, Peter K left the band. It was with their second EP Slaves To Abysmal Perversity during this phase of the band that there was a shift with the content of their music, the gore soaked lyrics outgrown and replaced by black and nasty dirty humour of pornographic themes. This was named by many as Porngrind, with Dead its originators.
In 2001 the band started to rehearse together again for a one off gig under the pseudonym Les Stars Du Rock Porno. This first step saw Dead revived fully in 2004 and a mini tour of Japan organised. The following year Peter K. left again this time to be replaced by Ali A.
Another Japanese tour and festival appearances quickly followed and though2008 the departure of another founder member Uwe S. he was soon replaced by Volker E. Joining Ali and remaining founder Dany R. Since the return the band has released a live EP, a best of album, a split album and two full lengths in the 2006 Whorehouse Of The Freaks and In The Bondage Of Vice of 2009. Hardnaked… but Dead released via FDA Rekotz carries on their filthy sex soaked appetites with sounds as energetic, intense and as full on as one is likely to find anywhere.
The opening two tracks of Hardnaked… but Dead tell you all you need to know about Dead, the first ‘Cock A Hoop‘ a brief funny intro skit and the second ‘The Fineribber‘ , a punk thrash lined slice of death metal with imposing riffs, direct simplistic rhythms, and the blackest guttural growls. As the following tracks lay their grubby fingers upon the ear initially there is a firm similarity across the album’s length, mostly from the vocal delivery and forceful directness, these over powering the actual diversity that is within the songs. Occasionally the neat touches peek out like the guitar grooves within ‘Liquor Store Goddess‘ but generally one has to go looking deeper for them, not a flaw but it does mean some will not have the patience or attention to get further involved.
Though the album has a strong start it does improve as it progresses especially with the early pairing of ‘Wall Of Flush‘ and ‘A Beer‘. The first is a death metal pummelling with incisive guitars slicing slithers off the senses with their sonic swings. An incessant grind works its way deeper and deeper as the song plays manipulating limbs to match its time and pace. The latter of the two to be honest is more a beverage loving skit than a song but in the same way that the folk metal Korpiklaani ditty of ‘Happy Little Boozer’ just lifts the place, so does ‘A Beer’, it is fun, simple as.
Other notable tracks include the black distorted sexual appetite of ‘Short But Slim‘ which comes over like the aural equivalent of the movie Bad Biology and southern grove tinged heart of ‘Possessed Soldiers Of Luv’.
Hardnaked… but Dead is not going to be for everyone, even after listening numerous times and finding the positives within there is still an uncertainty as to how good the album is. At times it is an uneasy mix and in others a striking bundle of messed up joy. If you are looking for something different but heavy and with a definitely dark humour that will raise more chuckles than grimaces, then Dead and their album are a must investigate recommendation.