I don't know about you, dear reader, but on any given Friday, I inevitably need a little bit of that death metal juice to get me in the fightin' spirit. Y'know, the good stuff. And, on this particularly gloomy and ill-tempered morning, the Midwest's own Death On Fire have graciously lent ye olde haggard scribe a helping hand. As evidenced by my bruised eardrums: Ghost Songs, the forthcoming album from these modern death metal peddlers, makes for a righteously invigorating experience.
But let's cut to the chase, shall we? Today, it's our pleasure to present "Architects"--a track which feels, genuinely, like an accurate encapsulation of the album as a whole. As any good single should. In the words of the Death On Fire themselves, this track "embodies this next album: focused, aggressive, and made to destroy. Singing the song of our slow and ignorant death. Nothing ever changes. We are the arbiters of our own demise." And, as an outsider, I'm here to declare that they ain't wrong. Before we get too far absorbed in the details, however, check out the excellent video for "Architects" here:
Feeling fired up? Good, 'cuz I'm chompin' at the bit and there's a lot here worth praising. Take the initial buildup, which launches into full-tilt aggression with explosive aplomb. Or the simple-yet-jubilant chorus--the rhythmic delivery of which incites bouts of headbanging at its own volition. Or the understated solo that lands, smack-dab, in the midst of crunchy combat-boot stomping riffage. Or, lest it be neglected, the undeniably gritty veneer that coats the track with a markedly abrasive punkish swagger.
Notably, while it is (typically) a quality I have beef with, the pseudo-muffled quality of the vocal delivery lends the entire affair a menacing edge. And when one deals--as Death On Fire obviously do--in riff-fueled braggadocio, a healthy dose of heartfelt menace is an arguably necessary ingredient. Without that bite, modern death metal all-too-oft falls flat; an unfortunate victim of its own pomp and polish. Not so here. The gloss and sheen herein feels appropriately rooted in death metal's trademark aggression. "Architect" is gloriously muddied up, and all the better for it.
In short? Death On Fire do modern death metal right. If "Architects" is your speed, be on the lookout for Ghost Songs, set for release on March 20th. In the meantime, give that video another whirl.
Providing thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy, and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a groggy-eyed, highfalutin peasantry.