THE DEAD
“DEATHSTEPS TO OBLIVION”
TRANSCENDING OBSCURITY
    
Originally released independently, Australia’s
THE DEAD reissue this slab with the help
of
TRANSCENDING OBSCURITY in 2014. A band originally featuring Scott Edgar of
Australian Death Metal legends MISERY, their newest effort features 5 tracks and just
over one half hour of CRUSHING Doom / Death Metal, harking back to the days when
PARADISE LOST, THERGOTHEN, WINTER and MY DYING BRIDE were coming
out of the blue with this great mix of the spirit of Death Metal and the atmosphere of
Doom. Though kicking in reminding me instantly of the earlier days of
DESTROYER
666
. From there, they take in a direction that was completely unexpected and unbelievably
well done. Using dissonance, droning tribal sequences, back-masking and lots of other
non-traditional methods of getting their collective point across, the album doesn't’t really
kick in until well into the second track “Disturbing The Dead”, the entire first track
essentially serving as an incredibly effective introduction. Dreary, DOOM / Death Metal
is done in fine fashion with some elements from the
PARADISE LOST “LOST
PARADISE” play book being employed all the while using the unique style exhibited on
the slower pieces from
ORDER FROM CHAOS. I love seeing a band create atmosphere
without the over use of keyboards and synthesized effects.
THE DEAD do that, not only
successfully, but as near to perfectly as I’ve seen.  This is not being overstated. The songs
swell and build, skillfully using repetition and a keen eye to songwriting.  When I’m
lamenting about bands not having any atmosphere (and I do this more than one would
think), this is the kind of music I am wishing for. Another one of the more intriguing
aspects is the vocals, at least in some respect, serving almost a secondary role to the
music, and above that, the atmosphere created by all of these converging, and as I said, non
traditional elements.  I would go as far as to say this is one of the most pleasingly
innovative releases I’ve heard come out in some time.  As a huge fan of the doomier side
of Death Metal, this band executes atmospheric Doom / Death as if it were an autonomic
function of their anatomy, and a function they operate with maximum effect and skill. I
think “DEATHSTEPS TO OBLIVION” is the ultimate prize in the batch of discs that
Burt has asked me to review for him.  Any fan of heavy, Doom / Death Metal would find
this to be more than satisfying, but even to the connoisseur or picky contingent of the fan
base.  If you appreciate early
PARADISE LOST alongside the atmosphere of
THERGOTHON and WINTER, I think you’ll be pleased as well.  I, for one, will be
searching down any and everything I can find by this band.

www.facebook.com/lordofthelivingdead
                                                                                          
                                                                                          - (Reviewed by Keith Dempe)