Undeath
It’s Time… To Rise from the Grave

I was once a metalhead elitist and gatekeeper, too. This strange thing happened where I grew the fuck up and resigned to just let people listen to what they want and enjoy their lives. Unless you listen to Five Finger Death Punch. In that case, please don’t reproduce… but since you probably already have, good luck at your custody hearing! The reason I bring this up is because I was recently told I couldn’t possibly like heavy music because I kind of liked the new Sabaton and they’re not broooootal enough. All this from a kid whose “full grown” beard looks like puberty is still several years away.

Where was I…? Oh, Undeath. Right. I reviewed their debut and enjoyed it for what it was, and I mention the above because this band is HYPED. All caps. A lot of this old school death metal gets the same treatment (see Sanguisugabogg) and your local death metal band who has no competent idea of song structure or how not to sound like a backed-up toilet live deserves all the hype, too, there’s no reason to hate these guys just because of a push. Listen to the music. If you like it, great. If not, move on.

I’m writing about this because I like it. To begin, there’s a quick little bass rumble before Alex Jones’ (not that one) vocals hit you Frank Mullen style. As far as production, his vocals are up front, carrying the hook. This is a groovy, mid-paced romp until halfway when the speed picks up, then a stellar guitar solo takes over. It lasts longer than expected, then we’re back into the main hook, and the song is over. All of that in about 3 minutes.

When “Rise from the Grave” hits a couple tracks later, it catches me a little bit by surprise. It’s not like they decided to write a Dio-esque ballad about dragons or angels, but the death thrash opening riff was a little unexpected. It all builds up with a sneaky hook and solid groove about 2 minutes in.

The next one, “Necrobionics,” however is the standout for me. The main verse riff is guaranteed to get you moving. A little over 2 minutes in, when they speed up momentarily, I enjoy the use of the China cymbal breaking up the blasts. This is another short, groovy monster.

If you’re looking for something a little slower, well that’s too bad…

Not slower, but slightly different is track 9, “Bone Wrought.” It’s quick, almost crossover thrash in pacing, and that solo tease is right out of that sub-genre’s playbook. That ending groove is spectacular, though.

The last track I’ll mention, which is the closer, “Trampled Headstones,” makes me want to see these guys live. It’s a solid, mid-paced beatdown, which is par for the course here.

10 tracks, 36 minutes, done. Listen to this. It’s worth your time. Put your preconceived notions aside and just enjoy the music. It breaks no new ground, but what really does? If that’s your criteria, you’re listening to the wrong genre anyway. Show these guys some support. Believe it or not, they do deserve it!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J Mays
May 24th, 2022

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