Heads for the Dead
In the Absence of Faith EP

Another year, another excellent release from one of my favorite old-school death metal bands, Heads for the Dead. 5 songs in 24 minutes isn’t much, but maybe it will tide us all over until the next one arrives. All you have to ask yourselves is if they still sound like Heads for the Dead. The answer is “yes,” and I attempted to hand in my review ending there. However, the boss man threatened my family if I didn’t expand upon those thoughts.

The joke’s on him because I don’t like my family, so I want to be clear I’m only writing more because I want. How could I not want to write about these horror movie-driven stalwarts? So it begins with “Heart of Darkness,” which includes a nice rumble until the middle of the track where it gets quiet, then goes into an almost blackened blast section. Immediately following that is an excellent solo, then back to the near-death doom verse. If you thought this track was finished, I think I can hear a faint mellotron in the background before it all goes blasting to the finish.

If you’re looking for standouts, you don’t have to look far. I could mention all five of them, but I like to be more brief with EP reviews, so I’ll mention “The God Forsaken.” It has a slow build, which does include some deep growls, but doesn’t kick in until what I would call a “fast” Insomnium section. It then gets quiet like most of their tracks. This is when a spoken word section starts, sounding like Behemoth. If you were surprised by that, check out the male choral vocals immediately following. That lead with around a minute left is soulful as fuck.

I’m gonna forgive the song title on the next one, “Self-Immolation in Fire” because… How else, and move on to the closer “Possession,” which begins with, wait, is that a xylophone? Anyway, the main guitar part takes on the same melody. The track sounds unique and hits its stride when they mesh together. It’s an excellent closer that does indeed make me want more Heads for the Dead.

Damn it, I’ve done enough talking about Heads for the Dead on here that they should put me in their next thank you list and send me a gift bag. Of course, I already have all their albums on CD, own a Serpent’s Curse hoodie, as well as a Great Conjuration baseball shirt, so I’m repping proudly. Anyway, I enjoy this band as you may have noticed. There’s never a dip in quality, and they’re one of the most unique and exciting death metal revival bands we have. Cherish them.

 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J Mays
September 22nd, 2023

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