Undead
False Prophecies

Hot on the heels of Gruesome’s utterly wonderful Savage Land comes another slice of truly tremendous Death worship in the form of False Prophecies. The mysterious entity that is  Undead have chosen to take a different approach to Gruesome however, the latter band choosing to emulate the early Death to such an extent that the resulting album could have easily have sat in Chuck Schuldiner’s discography in between Leprosy and Spiritual Healing. That statement in itself should be humbling for any band, however I am far more in favour of Undead’s approach which not only celebrates the legacy of one classic band from the glory days of death metal, but many, giving them the edge with a far less derivative end product.

While the Death influence is the most predominant on False Prophecies, largely down to the song structures and the pace of the compositions, the sound of the Dutch old guard is also present throughout. Pestilence, Asphyx, Thanatos, Gorefest and even early Sinister all spring to mind at various stages during the album. The most obvious Dutch influence here is the vocal style. Where Matt Harvey did a cracking impersonation of Evil Chuck, whoever it is behind the microphone for Undead is certainly a fan of the legendary Martin van Drunen. I am forced to say “whoever” due to the fact that Undead have left their identities shrouded in mystery, with all members using pseudonyms and simply appearing as cloaked silhouettes. Hell, for all I know it may well even be van Drunen himself!

Mentioning all these great influences hardly gives Undead the credit they are due, as they are not merely a copycat band relying solely on relics from the past. The song-writing on display here is top notch in its own right, highlights of which include the closing solo section of the title track, the hypnotic “Voices Within”, and the straight ahead and down the line “Castrate Humanity”. Closing track “Emerging from the Depths” contains two of the best riffs I’ve heard in years perfectly bringing what is an exceptional album to an end.

There has been a trend for mimicking the old school since the turn of the millennium, with crossover thrash, Bay Area thrash and Stockholm style death metal receiving the majority of re-workings and re-hashes. While there are quality bands making great music doing this, it has resulted in a quagmire of releases requiring the proverbial wheat having to be sorted from the chaff. This more classic style of death metal however has been tackled by far less bands thus far, and if the quality of material remains this high I certainly hope it stays that way.

 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Tom Blackwell
June 12th, 2015

Comments

  1. Commented by: Mars

    This didn’t sound nearly as good through my cellphone speaker (duh) at the record store. Good thing I checked it again.


  2. Commented by: E. Thomas

    Solid- not as good as the Gruesome though


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