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'Deathsteps To Oblivion' EP
(Transcending Obscurity)

jools green

Jools Green

the dead

I do love European black and death Metal, but having found myself looking further afield for something a bit "off the wall" and turned in this instance to Australia for 'Deathsteps To Oblivion', the latest EP from The Dead.

Soundwise, this Aussie trio of Mike Yee on vocals, Adam Keleher covering guitars and bass and Chris Morse on drums have created a very doom/sludge oriented death Metal of crushing proportions, awash with haunting riffs and deep growling vocals with ground trembling capabilities that are as guttural as they get. At this point you may well think "so what"?

That doesn't sound different, but it's their approach that makes this stand out from the masses and when these guys start thinking and acting outside the box, adding extra elements or putting a quirky slant on the sound that, it all gets very interesting. I am not normally much of a fan of doom/sludge either but this is one of those superb and rare exceptions to the rule.

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The five tracks encompass thirty two minutes so the scope for each track to develop is already evident, opening on bizarrely bestial vocalizations 'Maze Of Fire' opens out into a distorted, haunting, rolling riff pattern that is quite hypnotic in design. The arrival of the broad ranging guttural vocals, which also take on a second demonic edged personality shake you out of your doom induced trance.

Midway it all becomes very light and reflective expanding further into a hauntingly superb melody that runs parallel to the vocals and the crushing riffs.

The slow dirge like, oppressively crushing, muggy riffs that form the backbone of 'Disturbing The Dead' have a dark hypnotic quality that is amplified at the arrival of those amazing "split personality" vocals and a superbly haunting deathly melody is overlaid in the second half.

the dead

On 'The God Beyond', a machine gunfire sound-bite is followed by manic riffing that has a blackened quality... then things become very strange, in a good way, with the arrival of very unique sombre haunting guitars, slow deliberate drum work and a haunting distorted melody; the track has additional haunting backing vocals in the latter part courtesy of Alexandra Westaway, another great track.

There is a tribal feel to the extended opening drum work on 'Terminus', a minute and a half in and the vocals take a sludgy, haunting turn and it gets better and better particularly at the arrival of the superbly expressive vocals which surpass their previous levels of varied delivery, closing on a haunting guitar melody that develops in complexity as it progresses.

Final, title track 'Deathsteps To Oblivion' takes on an oppressively slow pace, the mood to the riff is bleak and you can sense the despair as you listen, midway the pace picks up a bit, but where it starts so get wonderfully bizarre is in the final two minutes with the introduction of what sounds like a saxophone into the mix (although I couldn't find any mention of one credited). Whatever it is, it works superbly and as that fades the vocals become monstrously bestial; a superb ending.

'Deathsteps To Oblivion' is lyrically superb as well as a fascinatingly bold and unusual approach to Metal; I love it! Hard copy limited to a pressing 500 copies but also available as download from Transcending Obscurity's bandcamp page.

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