The Dead – Deathsteps to Oblivion

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Unleashing their third album, Australian death metallers The Dead confront the senses with an energy sapping, senses consuming slavering beast and that is just the first track upon Deathsteps to Oblivion. The title perfectly sums up the corrosive and emotionally damaging journey the band drags the listener upon. It is an intensive examination of thoughts and emotions traversing a quintet of excruciatingly heavy and intensive soundscapes soaked in a pestilential fusion of death and sludge metal filtered through the darkest doom laded climate imaginable. It is a sound which belongs to all three styles yet is uneasy settling in any, creating its own domain of raw originality which is familiar but more so innovative. It is a harsh and demanding proposition but also one unafraid to melodically and sonically explore its imagination and providing potent evidence as to why the band is so revered in many quarters.

Formed in 2005 with a line-up which included members of Obfuscate Mass and Misery, the Brisbane band swiftly released a demo followed by the Armoured Assassin single in 2006. Following a second demo the band’s self-titled debut album was unveiled the following year, an encounter making an instant and imposing impression on the underground scene. With the Nocturnal Funeral EP subsequently under their belt, as well as increasing their live reputation with shows over the years alongside bands such as Behemoth, Obituary, Kataklysm, Psycroptic, and Ulcerate, The Dead gripped greater attention with second full-length Ritual Executions. Widely acclaimed through its independent release and a reboot through Diabolical Conquest Webzine which evolved into Transcending Obscurity and release the new ravenous exploit from the band, the album lured the broadest attention and spotlights, yet as Deathsteps to Oblivion infests the psyche you sense it was nothing compared to the response the new encounter has the potential to trigger. The line-up of vocalist Mike Yee, guitarist/bassist Adam Keleher, and drummer Chris Morse consume and immerse the listener with an aural suffocation which is as inhospitable as it is inescapably captivating, an incitement stirring up shadows and intimidations which seduce as they savage the senses.

Opener Maze of Fire immediately confronts and surrounds ears with a web of threatening sinister voices, their demonic roars the lure into a wall of debilitating heavy handed riffs and equally destructive rhythms. Within that trap though there is a melodic coaxing from the guitar which sparks the imagination as still varied and intimidating vocals prowl over thoughts with their intrusive narrative and tones. It is a fascinating entanglement to be lost in, especially with the slip into haunting melodic scenery which is as visually potent as the visceral sounds and vocals which soon share its passage in time threatening. It is a track which inspires different feelings and explorations in the imagination with every listen, something apply to all songs on the album, but a perpetually gripping and challenging persuasion.

The following Disturbing the Dead is just as carnivorous in presence and tone, arguably even more predatory as it crawls with torment laden intent over the senses. Its first half is an unrelenting scourge of doom empowered angst and intensity, a thoroughly appetising violation but from there it without losing funereal despair and malevolence, a sonic and creative enterprise is agitated to lure like a beacon in the thick sludgy tar of the song’s insatiable heart. It is an intriguing and suggestive offering which as its last note lingers in the ear, seems like another world to the one dawning on a rally of gunfire and with destructive and blackened voracity, emerges as The God Beyond. It is the rawest assault imaginable, a caustic sonic haze frequented by hate and fury, but temporary as the battle field returns to provoke a richer and clearer, but no less torturous tempest of sound and exploration. A constant test and provocation, the track is a maelstrom which is uneasy on the ear but wholly seductive upon thoughts and emotions. It is a song which it is hard to get a full handle on in sound and narrative but one inspiring a hunger to find the answers within its cavernous despair.

Terminus swerves in on a rhythmic seduction next, tribal and suggestive beats from Morse transfixing with exotic persuasion whilst bass and guitar flirt with their own sonic teasing. This is again just the doorway into the harshest shadows and challenging depths of the band’s creative rabidity, a serpentine breath accompanying the emerging vocal scarring and ruinous air of the track. Of course it is only part of the picture, melodic intrigue and clean vocal tenacity adding their twists to the sonic mystique and imagination which evolves within the black fog of sound. The track sends shivers down the spine as it seduces and gnaws on the psyche, taking best track award though the closing title track seriously challenges there. It too is a smothering tapestry of threat and invitational suggestion, extremes colluding and toying with each other within a cavern of uncompromising and ravenous aural profanation.

The five years between albums has only seen The Dead find new fears to exploit and nuances to discover in listener and their music respectively. Deathsteps to Oblivion is not for the faint hearted or emotionally sensitive, but to challenge and reward the corners of mind and soul it is maybe the most essential must investigate release of the year.

Deathsteps to Oblivion is available digitally or on limited edition CD now via Transcending Obscurity @ Transcending Obscurity https://transcendingobscurity.bandcamp.com/album/deathsteps-to-oblivion-death-metal-sludge

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RingMaster 19/11/2014

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Corpus Mortale – FleshCraft

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    FleshCraft the new album from Danish death metallers Corpus Mortale is quite simply a monster, a colossal beast of intensity, sound, and quality, and a release which could be a new defining signpost in Danish death metal if not extreme metal as a whole. The album clenches the listener firmly in its jaw throughout, each track a ravenous chewing and crushing of the senses which drains energy and lungs of fight and leaves the deepest rewards in the sonic charnel house installed. The band has built a fine and acclaimed reputation over the years but without doubt FleshCraft is easily their finest moment.

Formed in 1993 it was ten years later with the release of their debut album With Lewd Demeanor,  supported by a 20 date European tour with fellow Danes Konkhra and Illnath, that a wider appreciation of the aggressive sounds of the band began growing to build on the already strong local following Corpus Mortale had drawn. Second album A New Species of Deviant elevated their strong underground stature further with its release in 200, powerfully followed up the following year by a successful European tour alongside Nile, Grave, Krisiun and Ulcerate. With line-up changes across the years the trio of vocalist/bassist Martin Rosendahl, guitarists Carlos Garcia Robles and Brian Eriksen wrote and recorded their third album across 2011. The Copenhagen based threesome evolved their sound into the destructive pleasure found on FleshCraft in this period taking to a mix of studios to record the album which was mastered and produced by sound engineer Jacob Olsen. Released via Deepsend Records, the towering creation leaves the listener a breathless and exhausted victim in the wake of its inventive devastation, but a grinning invigorated and thrilled victim.

The album brews its introduction through wastelands of sound and chilled atmosphere as opener Weakest Of The Weak emerges from its coarse ambience. In full view the track unleashes a tirade of barbaric rhythms and inciting guitar caresses before taking the cap off their energy and exploding into a furious storm of destructive intensity and accomplished aural violence. The ever immense and impressive vocals of Rosendahl spreads malice dripping guttural violation from within the fluctuating brooding and annihilatory surges of the , it is a direct and corrosive attack, low on complications but as skilled and focused in writing and delivery as you can imagine. Like a leering predator overseeing its prey before turning it to blood soaked devastation the track is an intensive force and outstanding start to the album.

The following carnivorous storms The Unwashed Horde and A Murderous Creed elevate and accelerate the pleasure and inspiring presence of the album further, the first a hungry canker of impressive drums and scarring guitar sonics speared by tumultuous riffs and verbal malevolence and its successor a brutal tsunami of rabid intensity and inhumane masterful sounds. Both tracks rip bigger fissures in the wounds left gaping by the first track with the second of the pair especially savage and compelling. The bass on A Murderous Creed is exceptional, a sadistic entity on its own venomous mission within the cancerous unforgiving breath of the song and thoroughly irresistible alongside the equally contagious insidious waspish sonic grooving.

Truthfully there is not a weakness on the album, the likes of the excellently truculent Scorn of the Earth and the brilliant Love Lies Bleeding equally irresistible aggressors to what come before and after them. The latter of the two opens with a rapidly emerging feast of organic bass growling and cagey rhythms which is sheer primal manna before twisting into a voracious unrelenting wall of intense creativity and nastiness. It is the best track from the album if it is possible to choose any over another and one powerful reasons out of ten as to why the album already is looking good for best of year heights.

If things were not impressive enough the album sets free further mountainous surges of defined and perfectly sculpted brutality in the unreserved gaits of the expressive Enthralled and the uncompromising rankle Tempt Not the Knife, just two more highlights in a release of nothing but pinnacles. Closing on a reworking of Seize the Moment of Murder, a track which was only previously available on a limited 7-inch vinyl, FleshCraft is a stunning and sensational start to the year for death and extreme metal. Corpus Mortale is a band you should and need to know about and their new album the perfect malefaction to begin the submission.

http://www.corpusmortale.net

RingMaster 10/01/2013

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