Australia's The Dead is back with their third album: Deathsteps to Oblivion. This an album I have been waiting for, for a long time. The Dead's previous release Ritual Executions was an album I found immensely enjoyable and I had very high hopes for this new release.
Once again The Dead has been working with India's Transcending Obscurity and finally this little diamond in the rough came to light.
What is delivered is sludgy death metal that sounds like a huge tractor coming your way and is going to plow you good. I guess a lot of people would like to use the tank metaphor for the sound of this album. But I like the farm metaphor better. Why? well this album is rather primitive and lo-fi. So in my mind this band sounds like an old beat up tractor, maybe not the best looking thing in the barnyard but it surely gets the job done. So yes the music is heavy and drowning with a good dose of doom in the mix.
One aspect that really makes me enjoy this album is the small melodic breaks in the songs. Clean guitars mixed with a groovy bas and a lead guitar that create a small place for one to catch once breath. I think this is a very clever way to help the listener along. Especially since the songs are long and rather monotomus. All the songs clock in at around 6 min. And when I say that the songs are monotomus I do not mean that in a bad way. In my view that is one of the most challenging thins one can do in music. Create something easy slow and monotomus. A melody so strong that it can be repeated indefinitely without being tiresome.
On the Dead's previous album they did this masterfully with the song Death Metal Suicide. Almost ten min of repetitious bliss. You will find nothing as extreme on Deathsteps to Oblivion, well almost anyway. But the riffs are just as well crafted and engaging.
While the first two songs follow the same sludgy pattern. The next songs: The God Beyond mixes things up with a more of a black metal feeling. First we are shaken up with a really fast blast attack that then dwindles down to what I can only describe as a The Dead take on the suicide black metal thing. After this little side track we are back to the sludgy goodness that we were treated to before
The lead work on this album can only be described as having a Neil Youngesque sound, improvised sound. I really like it. No shredding, just pure emotion. As with many of the albums that have caught my ear over the years this one has a strong emphasis on the bass. Not just that the album is heavy in the bass tone, but also that the bass is used more than just to rumble away in the background. The bass is actually moving, playing around in its own shapes. And I think this creates a very dynamic sound for an otherwise primitive album.
I assume from my previous statement about the sound being like a tractor. That you, my dear reader is having no hopes of this being an over polished affair. Cause it sure is not.
I positively love the sound of this record, it is heavy and raw. But yet refined, it is raw but well done. Clearly a lot of love has gone in to making this album sound the way it does. I think this album has something that most modern albums lack, in the terms of production . And that is balls. Yes care has gone in to making this sound good and listenable. But is still dirty and raw as a steak dropped on a gravel road. So yeah this album sounds like a raw meat tractor that has been plowing the fields the entire day.
So yeah if you like sludgy droning death metal this album is surely for you. The riffs are primitive and catchy just like we like it.
1.Maze of Fire 06:34
2.Disturbing the Dead 06:06
3.The God Beyond 06:14
5.Deathsteps to Oblivion 06:58
Sweden`s Wilhelm Lindh*, "Portuguese by adoption," guitar player, composer and owner of the Doom / Death Metal band The Gardnerz, reviews here in HeavyHardMetalmania.net. Careful and professional analysis to the music and albums with suggestions of what there is to see and hear ... not to be missed. "The wisdom is found in the extremes, all extreme Metal here!".
The Dead returns with a Doom/Sludge-oriented Death Metal album that will shatter notions about the genre. Transcending multiple avatars, The Dead shape-shifts its way across epic songs that are as crushing as they are memorable. Leads light up 'Deathsteps to Oblivion' through the quagmire of darkness, death and doom. This is bound to be a landmark album across many genres for the originality and the boldness it offers. The riffs remain as haunting as ever, surpassing the highly acclaimed previous album 'Ritual Executions' which is now completely sold out. The Dead unleashes its masterpiece.
The full-length album will be released on limited edition CD in late 2014 on Transcending Obscurity. Pre-orders are available at a very special rate of $9 including shipping worldwide.
Released 15 November 2014