Thursday, October 7, 2010
DeathCult - The Living, The Dying, and The Damned
Band: DeathCult (U.S.)
Album: The Living, The Dying, and The Damned
Genre: Death Metal
Isn't it funny how some of the more talented bands never seem to strike it big, forever doomed to be lost in time? It's a real shame because tons of bands that should be recognized simply aren't. Hailing from Los Angeles, California, DeathCult is one of these bands I am talking about. On their first (and only) full-length album, they establish themselves as musicians who both know what they are doing, as well as possess a yearning to break the confines of the generic meat and potatoes style of old-school death metal.
There are various elements of "The Living, The Dying, and The Damned" that make it a noteworthy release. This album seems very reminiscent of Autopsy's album "Mental Funeral," in that it incorporates both the traditional death metal sound with a demented sort of doom metal aspect as well. These guys clearly know what they are doing, because the riffs sound heavy as hell, and are very easy to slam your head to. The band also makes great use of the dual guitar on this album. The two instruments are very well mixed in the sense that you can hear both doing their own thing at the same time. Both players are audible throughout the whole album, instead of just getting muddled into one cluster of sound.
The flow of the album is another one of its noteworthy qualities. DeathCult knew exactly what they were aiming for when writing and recording this album. I find that with a lot of bands (especially the more unheard of ones) some of the tracks on an album feel forced, almost as though they were just made to fill up space on the album. Each track off "The Living, The Dying, and The Damned" has it's own atmosphere and place on the album. When you listen to the album, it doesn't feel like a collection of songs. It simply sounds like an album, and its a quality that is appreciate that greatly.
All this being said, there were some aspects of the album that were off-putting to me. Before I get too far into this, I must say, that for an unsigned death metal band, the production on this album is far above par. The guitars, drums and vocals blend very well, but my one complaint is that very seldom is the bass audible. This is generally on the slower doomy passages, when there isn't as much chaos going on. But, when I listen to heavy music, I want to hear that bass slamming along. It's something that takes away from the finished product.
The other aspect of the album that I couldn't quite get into was the hint of avant-garde that is sprinkled throughout this album. It was interesting in a way, because it reminded me somewhat of the early releases by Gorguts. I'm not saying that these passages of the album weren't well done, because they were. It's just simply not my kind of thing.
So, if you are sick of all this chugging new-aged death metal, and you want a blast from the past in a very refreshing way, I highly recommend you check out DeathCult. They are a rather unheard of band that brings a lot of intensity to their music. If you aren't into avant-garde death, I'd still give it a shot. There is far more death and doom to this album then anything. You can check these guys out by visiting them on their MySpace page. Show them your support, because these guys have churned out a pretty solid first full-length here.