Blessed Dead
Sick Human Essence EP

Sick Human Essence, a four-song EP from Italy’s Blessed Dead, is the perfect introductory sample of what the band is about. Mixing elements of Symphonies of Sickness-era Carcass, Symbolic-era Death, some riffs found on Cradle of Filth’s Dusk and Her Embrace, modern day Cannibal Corpse, and various other influences isn’t exactly an easy accomplishment. Blessed Dead pulled it off remarkably well for a novice band who still hasn’t released an official full-length album.

Granted, the Italian quintet isn’t anywhere near as technically proficient as the late, great Death and their style of death metal isn’t the vintage gorecore that made Carcass famous (it’s more the sound of the guitars at many points, not the riff structures). Also, they don’t play black metal the way CoF used to but unlike the Carcass reference, this nod is based on some of the riff structures and not the sound. About 90 seconds into “Mental Collapse” is a perfect example this.

Nevertheless, the four songs found on Sick Human Essence rip right through the listener and are infectious as all hell. Each track coalesces catchy riffs with crushing heaviness alongside razor sharp hooks. Blessed Dead also switch gears from slow and crushing to hyper speed with much more grace than most young bands have at this stage. And while the music is savage and raw like it’s supposed to be, the many melodies that have been infused into the barbarity just strengthens the music altogether.

The final mix is just clean enough to make it sound “good” but luckily it’s still pretty crude and full of energy. There is almost no sterility in the production and even though every instrument can be heard clearly, there’s an overwhelming dirtiness and ugliness to the sound that gives it a nastier attitude. The only minor drawback is that the drums aren’t as thunderous as they should be, but thankfully the skins haven’t been killed with a lousy pitter-patter/clicky sound.

Clocking in at a hair past 17 minutes, the EP is over way too soon, but that’s the beauty of a strong EP. A hopeful harbinger for what follows, Sick Human Essence is an absolute monster for what it is. It’s not original by any stretch of the imagination, but Blessed Dead wear their influences proudly and they have unleashed a small collection of songs that is ten times stronger than the majority of their brethren’s full-lengths over the past few years. With an EP this well done, their proper full-length debut hopefully won’t take too long to become a reality.

 

 

 

 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Mike Sloan
November 12th, 2012

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