It’s been a long fucking time since I made a post! Kind of a no brainier, but I’ve been very busy with meticulous planning for not only Angelus Mortem, but myself. I’m currently enrolled in my first year of university, and I’m trying to find more sources for income. As amazing as these posts may be, they don’t pay the bills, man.
I can’t make a come back without mentioning the year that just passed. 2017 was undoubtedly one of the best years for metal in a very long time, and the sheer amount of music was overwhelming. I won’t be making a best of 2017 article simply due to the fact that I haven’t kept track of everything throughout the year, but some of my favorites included the new Dying Fetus, Thy Art is Murder, Dodecaherdron, Aeon of Disease, Hour of Penance, Ashcloud, Goatwhore, Besatt, Xanthochroid, Paganizer,…and many, MANY more.
You can find a complete list of awesome new stuff I have planned for the new year on my Facebook page, so be sure to check that out! I’m expecting a lot of positive results in 2018, which will be as much of an adventure for you guys as it will be for me. For those who support me, you know who you are and without you, this website would have no purpose!
I’d like to kick off the year with a review that I promised to make a while back when this first came out; no matter how long it takes, I deliver! Today’s review will be of the Chasing Death debut EP, Deathbringer.
This is the fifth release from the German independent label Neckbreaker Records. The owner, Konrad, made it his mission for the world to feel the sickness of OSDM and decided to include Chasing Death into his arsenal. He likes seek out modern undiscovered gems; bands that deserve way more recognition for their amazing craft, and I think Chasing Death fits in there perfectly. This is one of the main reasons I respect the man, because that’s one of the main goals of Angelus Mortem, too. If you want to check out Neckbreaker Records, read my article here.
Released November 6th, 2017, this is the bands first release. If I’m being completely honest, Chasing Death is not that different from a large amount of modern old-school death metal bands around today, but they do accomplish a checklist of criteria that make their EP a very fun, catchy, and brutal debut.
The variety between songs on Deathbringer keeps the listener intrigued; some are more simple and to the point, others feature more profound soundscapes. In the title track, a eerie melodic interlude repeats halfway through the song, making the guitar soar into epic and dismal overtones while being accompanied by the aggressive vocals of A.S. This melodic playing happens right after an assault of blast beats and fast riffing, so Chasing Death manages to make your adrenaline pump as well as make you terrified in the same song.
The song structure is also great, as each track has more or less a chorus and don’t just go on forever. This way, the track can be divided into segments to make it flow better, memorable, and a lot catchier. I feel like a lot of bands neglect this element in their music, but making songs that can get stuck in people’s heads is a great thing for a debut release. Songs like “We Are All Zero” and “Deathbringer” demonstrate this perfectly.
However, the production and vocals is where Chasing Death really shine. A common theme for OSDM is to sound as filthy as possible without sacrificing too much of the production, and Deathbringer is definitely in that middle ground. The instruments are audible and maintain a revolting tone; the sound reflects the dread before approaching something…horrible. The vocals could be best described as a sort of yell / growl, and bring a lot of energy to the music by making it twice as crushing.
If I were to nitpick though, Chasing Death somewhat fails in the lyric department. I like the idea they were going for, and the words seem to thematically focus on forms of human nihilism and impending death. The only problem is that the English is broken and the words are vague, so the songwriting is left to interpretation. Maybe that’s what they were going for; making you imagine the most horrible thing you can rather than spoon-feeding you the mental images? It doesn’t really work for me, sorry.
Chasing Death accomplishes everything it needs to on Deathbringer; catchy riffs, a crushing atmosphere, menacing tone, solid song structure, gritty production, and memorable tracks. With even more variety, catchier hooks, and some more diverse drum patterns for the next release, these guys could be contenders for the next best OSDM band! 7.5/10.
I encourage you to support the music you love! Links below: