Existential Horror LP

 I’m not sure how many bands are called Undead, but what I do know is that you’ll receive 46 entries if you search for it on Metal Archives. To be fair, only 14 of those are just called Undead. The others just include the phrase in their name. Those are just the ones listed, though. Let’s not knock them for a lack of originality in their band name. It’s not like there aren’t literally thousands of bands in metal and other music genres who have shared or silly names.

So, the music (which is a LP reissue of the album released last year). The first track, “Haunted by Hate,” makes it clear what kind of a ride you’ll be on for the next half hour. I’m sure there are a multitude of other examples, but the guitar tone, the atmosphere, and the vocals remind me of Tribulation’s The Horror back before they decided to become death/black metal vampires (I’m not knocking them as I still think they’re fantastic). I really enjoy this track because of the significant build preceding the solo.

The solos are predictably excellent throughout, such as on “Santa Muerte.” In most circumstances, though, they feel cut off and not long enough. This song in particular has the tease of a second which never comes to fruition. However, the last minute or so of it has an outro which sounds slightly like an organ, but it’s definitely still a guitar.

“City of Silence,” which is the next track, keeps the same atmosphere with a death metal rumble carrying it. This is a recurring theme throughout the record as most tracks follow the same formula.

The track which immediately follows is the title track, “Existential Horror.” It does sum up the content of the rest of the album, as well as the aim of the musicians with its persistent groove. Of course, it also includes an all too brief, but nonetheless stellar guitar solo.

Right after that, we have “Curse of the Undead,” which includes a chorus of the song title being vomited right into your stupid, unsuspecting face. The vocals sound powerful and jump out of the speakers. Of particular note on this track is the drum performance, specifically the symbol work after the first chorus. This might be the best track on the album.

However, “Beyond Divine Regulation,” the closer, may have something to say about that anointment. About 2 minutes in, you start to realize why this is the closer. It settles into a groove you can just imagine fading out and despite the moments of a weeping guitar lead in the background, that’s exactly what it does.

Despite what I’ve said above, album of the year material this is not. It is, however, one hell of a good time. If you’re into old school death metal with a horror vibe (if not, I don’t know you), then I’d recommend checking this out. It’s not going to set the world on fire, reinvent the wheel, or any other cliché phrase people use to describe something earth shattering, but I bet you’ll enjoy yourself if you give it a chance.


[Visit the band's website]
Written by J Mays
October 30th, 2020


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