Thrash in Santa Cruz?!? Who would have thought, but I jest. Those that are aware of their geography know the proximity of Santa Cruz to the bay area in Calif. Hallowed ground for many a metal group, so there is plenty of likelihood of seepage and runoff of all that is Metallica, Exodus, Testament, Death Angel etc so that more than likely caused many reverberations to those in the vicinity.
Dead War play a sort of proto thrash that is a heavy dose of Hellwitch and a bit of Sadus but not as technical. When listening to this you will also get bits and pieces of death metal and even some black metal. I say this because the songs are not groove laden or really mosh pit inducing to my ears but something a bit more, even the song titles give the indicator of things being a bit different. Listen to opening song “Leptospira”, after its maudlin and languid intro, you will get that black metal feel and that angry, technical (of sorts) thrash core but a bit harsher in its approach as the song progresses.. The song “Debellatio”, also further nails the point home of the different musical attack sounding a bit more death metal like with its thrash core. I find their approach a bit surprising on the onset because it was not what I was expecting but not a bad surprise in any way.
To add a bit of a twist to the mix is the slightly atmospheric, and instrumental soundscape, with its cello and off kilter sounding violin lending much in Gothic overtones. It’s set in the middle of the album, to sort of give the listener a brief respite to the overall audio assault.Speaking of soundscapes, the first 3 songs have intros, that sound wise and mood wise set the tone of the audio assault to be brought upon you.
The album’s sound is decent and a tad trebly and a sufficient bottom end. It’s harsh and unforgiving much like the album cover which I think conveys the band’s mood and sentiment very well.
The album is short and to the point, the original demo release can be had for for $6 at Bandcamp or grab the reissued CD from Horror Pain Gore Death Productions. And at a tad over 15 minutes you can’t go wrong, so it serves as a good introduction to the band, for those looking for a bit of a multi-dimensional thrash (of sorts) attack.[Visit the band's website]