You know there is something happening and worth keeping a close ear on when a record keeps drawing you back and back. The self-titled debut album from Greek metallers 1000Dead is one such proposition. An uncompromising fury of thrash driven multi-flavoured metal, the eleven track assault on the senses constantly grips attention across its growling mass of highly satisfying enterprise. It is a mix of the familiar and of the freshly imaginative and as we have found an encounter easy to get a firm appetite for.
Formed in 2013, 1000Dead hails from Rethymno, Greece. Within their first year, the trio had released a 3-song promo (Promo 2014) which quickly drew favourable reactions and attention. Live the band has also drawn plaudits, sharing stages with the likes of Sabaton, Flotsam & Jetsam, Ravencult, and Wolfheart many others over time with the past months of 2016 seeing the creation of the band’s first album.
Mixed and mastered by John Leledakis, the album opens up with Lying Through Teeth and a fiercely irritable growl from guitarist/vocalist Nick Marinakis. Within a breath, the song is rampaging through ears, thrash bred riffs and thumping beats as merciless as they are inviting with the bass of Peter Leledakis an ear pleasing twang fuelled groan. The deeper into the song it takes the listener the broader its weave of sound and array of hooks and spicy grooves, that initial tempest of sound still the driving force with the addictively nagging beats of drummer Alex Mouratidis steering the rage as Marinakis grouchily bellows.
The following Unveil Hatred is just as formidable and quickly compelling, though it is swifter into its melodic variety than its predecessor. Its heart is still predatory though, and surges with relentless venom throughout. A sudden drop into a creative maze of unexpected avant-garde imagination is delicious but too short and sadly not repeated while a slower atmospherically hued passage is a less satisfying detour but does little to reduce the enjoyment of the predominantly savage track.
Post-war Blues comes next, starting in the distance with a spicy hook which only sounds more flavoursome full in the ear, providing the seed for even spicier inventive grooves and stabbing riffs. Vocals again angrily sear air and ears; Marinakis’s dirty tones a pleasing contrast but equally pleasing conspirator to the emerging adventure of flavours and styles blossoming within the song. From heavy and classic metal to thrash and death animosity, the track’s textures are a fluid kaleidoscope which works really well.
The torrential assault and vicious riffery of the outstanding Bring a Knife to a Gunfight is next, its unrelenting attack littered and interrupted by scything grooves and melodic suggestiveness respectively with the rhythms of Mouratidis and the belligerent tone of the bass pure magnetism to match the imaginative tapestry woven by Marinakis’ guitar. The song epitomises the album, blending recognisable sounds and invention with a unique touch in all of the band’s clean vocals and progressive/alternative metal spiced endeavour.
The track’s gripping creative drama and bold adventure continues through the surging tempest of Noise-pain, the song employing many of the same ideas found in its predecessor within its own choleric design, scything grooves and wicked hooks a joyful proposal throughout. It provides another impressive peak in the album being matched in success and sonic prickliness by This Day We Fight. Again raw aggression and bad tempered attitude colludes with unpredictable twists and enjoyably toxic grooves to grip and feed the imagination. It is a fractious affair which only increases the draw of the album, a reward increasing song by song as each track sees band and release growing in imagination and adventure.
The initially milder climate of Unplug Me is a great coaxing into a waiting aggressive wail though the song as a whole has a more restrained rage which allows further imaginative explorations to be shared by 1000Dead before the bearish heart of their sound is back to ravage and rage within the enjoyably quarrelsome and rhythmically captivating landscape of The Oppressor Syndrome.
Through the cantankerously intrusive and creatively eventful Stonework and the senses scarring onslaught of the seriously brief Cross Section, band and album tighten their hold on before closing off with the uncompromising intensity and punkish contentiousness of Dignity… A Dying Word, one final twist of diversity in the 1000Dead sound and invention.
It is a great end to a powerful and striking introduction to 1000Dead; an impressive starter for the band to become even bolder and unique from. Looking for a label to unleash the album with, watch out for 1000Dead savaging your ears and souls very soon.
Keep up to date with the album’s release @ https://www.facebook.com/1000Dead
Pete RingMaster 14/10/2016
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