|Review: The Dead - The Dead|
Label: Obsidian Records
Year released: 2008
Genre: Death Metal
Review online: February 3, 2009
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Rated 3/5 (60%) (5 Votes)
Usually Australian Death Metal destroys everything in its path, and the albums are an unrelenting chaotic assault. Not this one, however. The Dead kicks off in a very cacophonic fashion, the first 15 seconds sounding like a fucking mess and I had to resist hitting Stop, but then things fell into place... Well, starting at the 16th second. ;) From there, we are treated with a good dose of mid to fast-paced Death Metal, the band alternating between the two - an interesting effect considering the rather short length of the songs. Things get interesting later when the band gets outside the box and start flirting with Doom/Death territory - not really getting there, but let's call it a second cousin - at times there's even a bit of a Sabbath vibe going on. The Dead prone heaviness more than sheer speed, and the music often flirts into "lighter" territory - think Thrash and just bare-bones Heavy Metal. So there's more than enough variety in less than the half hour duration of the album.
Now so far we could think that The Dead have a good thing going for them, but what really hurts this album is the production. I'm usually not very picky on this, but this is one of those times where this should have gotten more attention. The sound is quite muddy, and oftentimes the guitars are barely audible or nearly lost in the mix - while at other times it sounds "alright", to put it simply. Very uneven. You know the music is heavy, you know it should be pinning you to the floor, and those instruments are just screaming to get out of your speakers and pierce your ear drums, but it's just not happening. The material is there, but it's imprisoned in this little circular piece of plastic. This would probably be a 3.5 or even a 3.75 were it not for this.
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