With the world wide release of their debut album Murderer last year, Danish death metallers Deus Otiosus left one of the biggest impressions and most rewarding confrontations of 2011, their old school inspired yet strikingly inventive sounds firing up the passions whilst marking the band as one of the most refreshing and promising emerging forces within extreme metal. The quintet from Copenhagen now returns with second album Godless, a release which actually puts its impressive predecessor in the shade whilst revealing the band as an even mightier and creative proposition. The new album is a colossal beast of imagination and aggressive engagement, a record bulging with incendiary sonics and melodic enterprise alongside thunderous riffs and debilitating grooves.
Started by vocalist Anders Bo Rasmussen and guitarist Henrik Engkjær in 2005, Deus Otiosus grabbed positive attention with their 2007 demo Death Lives Again and a split release with Hideous Invasion two years later, but it was with the release of Murderer in South America in 2010 and especially its world release via FDA Rekotz the next year, that the band ignited an intense positivity and acclaim towards their uncompromising aural attack. Godless takes everything to a new level, the songwriting, imaginative enterprise, and the intrusive thrilling sounds. Out through Deepsend Records, the album unleashes eight brutal tracks which numb and invigorate which equal success. Themed by the premise of the world devoid of gods or presences to guide the human race thus leaving it ‘to fend for itself like feral children’, the album is a crashing expanse of old school death metal skewered with veins of thrash and black metal and loud melodic whispers.
As soon as the opener Snakes of the Low thunders in with merciless rhythms, driving riffs, and an acute twisting groove, there is an immediate sense of the growth from previous releases, the immense start that strong and impactful. The guitars of Henrik Engkjær and Peter Engkjær rage with a furnace of sonic manipulations and bone crushing intensity whilst bassist Jesper Holst roams with a rabid hunger to his lines. The staggering onslaught leaves one breathless with the drums of new drummer Jesper Olsen leading the assault with unbridled energy and stunning craft. The result is a contagion which swamps the senses and ignites the passions whilst with the inciting heavy guttural tones of Rasmussen leaves thoughts open to the darkest shadows.
Off to a towering start the album steps up another level with the excellent In Harm’s Way. Starting with a catchy tease of drums the track strolls with an incessant breath of anthemic unity and pulsating resonating energy. Riffs and rhythms hold a constant urgent charge whilst the vocals snarl at the ear with a malevolent hunger whilst the sonic scorching lights up the song with caustic flames of invention. It is an insatiable riot setting up a strong and pleasing contrast to its successor, the doom clad prowling beast New Dawn. Oppressive with an intensity which looms over the senses without quite devouring them, the track crowds the ear with its weighty presence to allow its restrained but ever shifting twists of ideas to open a stream of great satisfaction.
Throughout Godless is unrelenting in offering irresistible invention and fiery imagination, further tracks such as the astringent and ravenous Pest Grave as well as Cast From Heaven with its burning abrasive consumption of the synapses and the openly infectious Face The Enemy leaving awe struck ardour and unbridled enthusiasm in their wake. The latter of the three is a maelstrom of multi-faceted sounds and invention which flow and tease as if borne from the same original seed of inspiration.
Closing on the delicious irreverent waltz of Death Dance, an apocalyptic beauty in sound and atmosphere, the album is just outstanding and a release which easily rivals the best extreme genre releases this year. If bands like Obituary, Autopsy, Entombed, and Sepultura raise your temperature, than Deus Otiosus and Godless will break you out in an eager sweat.
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