Lifeless
Beyond the Threshold of Death

Following up on the old school death metal successes of 2009 (Fatalist, Asphyx, Banished From Inferno, Hod, Rape Pillage & Burn, etc), Ibex Moon Records has unleashed two quality, pure old school records this summer in the form of Cardiac Arrest’s Haven for the Insane and this reissued debut from Germany’s Lifeless.

While Beyond the Threshold of Death may be a two year old album, its retro Stockholm throes give it an ageless sound that fans of old school Swedish death metal will appreciate. Personally, while I hear the heavy Stockholm influence, I was also reminded heavily of underrated fellow Germans, Soul Demise by way of the bands slight moments of melodic death metal (“Retaliation”, “The Final Sacrifice”, “In the End (..of Life)”) injected into their crunchy, rough and ready mid range romps.

And while the album is certainly no The Depths of Inhumanity or Death….the Brutal Way, it is still a quality album that oozes old school charm. From the cheesy old school intro through to the pretty killer cover of Dismember’s crunch-fest “Casket Garden” (added along with new artwork for this reissue), the album gallops and saunters with a laid back, loose approach. “Entombed in Unknown Graves”, “Seed of Hatred”, and the title track all provide ample moments of gruff, crumbling, rumbling, scrawling death metal that’s more enjoyable when slowed down to a classic crawl and groove rather than some slightly forced blasting (“Under the Sign of the Iron Cross”).

That being said, for a supposedly old school and Stockholm inspired album, the overall mix is a bit thin, lacking that tangible bottom end oomph and buzz of their Swedish peers (which seems to have been fixed for the Dismember cover), and frankly the drumming is a bit too sloppy for my tastes. But the overall album is a nice little release that continues to show Ibex Moon’s knack for discovering solid old school death metal from all over the world.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
June 21st, 2010

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