02 03 Metal Melancholy: ALBUM REVIEW: The Dead - Deathsteps to Oblivion 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

ALBUM REVIEW: The Dead - Deathsteps to Oblivion


I first heard of “The Dead” a year back when I got copies of their previous albums, “Nocturnal Funeral” and “Ritual Executions”. What struck me immediately was how the band managed to blend death metal music with sludge/doom sound undertones. I have generally found death metal to be one genre, with the least ‘experimentation’, so this was a treat to the ears! The albums kept dominating play time and I was quite pleased to hear when the new album “Deathsteps to Oblivion” was announced.

To say that “Deathsteps to Oblivion” is a huge leap forward by The Dead, is an understatement. The band has once again pushed the boundaries of death metal even further apart, with mesmerizing use of sludge, doom and drone sounds. At the same time the band has successfully once again maintained the live-like sound and raw energy that their previous works possess, and that help make the band stand out!

The album kicks off with “Maze of Fire”, at the beginning it reminded me of another talented band on the same record label (Transcending Obscurity) – Drug Honkey, with the synth vocals sending one into a trippy journey. The track has a good sludge feel to it, with the most amazing bass undertones. The bass lines striking with complete force right into the listeners mind!

“Disturbing the Dead” is the heaviest and the closest to conventional death metal it gets on this record! The doom vibes running through the track adds its charm. Once again bass heavy, with a small punchy solo thrown in between, the album continues to draw the listener in. A total upheaval takes place with “The God Beyond”, almost giving a grind-core start, before settling down. The instrumental, gives a death metal-sludge-shoegaze mix aura along with a female background vocal humming, leaving one in a trance and totally unprepared for what the remaining album holds.

“Terminus” begins with a totally off-beat tribal music before going into a nice death-sludge mix. The perfect interweaving and synchronization of different genres by The Dead is brought to the front in this track. The albums ends with the title track “Deathsteps to Oblivion”, which is a total skull-crusher from start to end. The track brings in funeral doom vibes along with a sludge-death metal mix brought into the play. With growls that will even put the devil himself to shame, the listener is left gasping for life, under the rumbling music.

At the end, what really works for the band is the originality in the music. Breaking all conventions of death metal, the band has created something totally different and unique. The odd-ities thrown around the album, keep the listeners attention throughout.

The album is a huge step forward in terms of production and song-writing for the band. The bass lines have always been the choice of assault for the band (even in the previous works), and they come forward really well on the mix of this record. The deep pounding bass lines throughout hit the listeners with right in the face! The band has further shed their ‘death metal’ tag, experimenting further, into sludge sounds creating an amalgamation that leaves the listeners enthralled.

Overall, “Deathsteps to Oblivion” is an album that is dark and haunting, and gets more melancholic with every spin!

Reviewed By: Vidur Paliwal

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