The Depths
Preaching Death

The cover art of The DepthsPreaching Death is drawn in the rotten, decrepit style of Justin Bartlett, perhaps best known for crafting the artwork of Lord MantisPervertor and Dragged into Sunlight’s Hatred for Mankind, albums which blurred the line between misanthropic sludge and scorching black metal. Preaching Depth isn’t too far off from such a description itself, revolving around a similar theme of blackened grime, but this Pennsylvanian trio prefer to perform at thrashier tempos, compared to the excruciation and masochism of the aforementioned bands.

Opener “She-Wolf” (no, not the Megadeth song) cuts to the chase with fervently punkish rhythms and visceral blackened thrash riffing – this is shit you need to bang your head to – and the guitar solo, hardly ten seconds long, channels a kind of Fukpig vibe, with quick flurries of bluesy notes and lots of string bending. The title track which comes next isn’t quite as robust, and less so the Dystopia cover “Backstabber”, but “Thin the Herd” remedies that with its Anaal Nathrakh-influenced harmonised tremolos and hyperactive drum fills. The next two tracks see the band settling into slightly slower tempos, though they still never really approach sludgy territories. “The Void in Which I Slumber” has an oddly melodic main riff, and in its last minute, said riff is tremolo picked amidst a surge of unwavering, relentless double bass for a riveting finish. A brief dabble with acoustic layering on the markedly more adventurous arpeggios of “Entheogen” shows that the band can easily throw in some peripheral elements into the mix if they so desire.

Now, I’ve seen The Depths being described as a “blackened death metal/deathcore” band, but don’t be misled; there are neither breakdowns nor “deathcore tremolos” – the two main characteristics of deathcore – present on Preaching Death. You could probably chalk it up to the “not quite a rasp, not quite a shout” vocal style, but even then that reminds me more of the corrosive snarl of Drunk (from Fukpig) than, say, Phil Bozeman or Big Chocolate. Genre nitpicks aside, with a bit more consistent songwriting and a tiny bit of production cleanup (I’m digging the lo-fi rawness of it all, but the lower-end tremolos tend to get buried by the drums), The Depths are on their way to carving out a name for themselves amongst their peers… though, speaking of names, they should probably do something about their nigh-unsearchable band name first.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Joseph Y
November 24th, 2014

Comments

  1. Commented by: Jason

    This sounds pretty cool, I’ll check ’em out. Great review Joseph, and badass on the Fukpig mention! I’m definitely into their stuff.


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