Written by: Blackie Skulless
Since the band’s earliest demo at the crack of 2019, I’ve been following every Undeath output that gets tossed out at a close range due to the band’s immediate ear for outstanding writing in the death metal genre. 2020’s Lesions Of A Different Kind would take the structural brutality of the demos and bring them to a refreshing light. This quickly cemented the New York quintet as one of my favorites in modern death metal. There’s no sign of this discontinuing with the latest, entitled It’s Time…To Rise From The Grave.
Fitting the imagery of the name and artwork, Undeath sees their second full-length as a step forward in technical tactic while strongly maintaining their ground in memorable riffing. Never is the muddy and unforgiving bottom lost with harsh and disgusting tones that draw the guitars as deep as the guttural vocals.
As usual, at this point in a band of this style’s career, clarity takes a slight step in priority without exhausting overproduction (for those that do it right). Vocal placement plays a larger role here than ever before, alongside rhythmic repetition that's perhaps even more dynamically pleasing. “Enhancing The Dead” really nails this concept down without overdoing it in the back half of the song.
Unsurprisingly, you can expect interweaving strong leads that compliment galloping rhythms and explosive blasting basically across the board. The title track opens on tremendous hooks that only evolve into smooth transitions to the chorus, and several different lead guitar tactics working for a strong solo and bridge sequence. I can’t emphasize those transitions enough; for something so harsh, they pull it off immaculately. This sits well with the horror-drenched lyrical themes that poetically flow with the advanced music itself. “Human Chandelier” and “Head Splattered In Seven Ways” come through far more sophisticated than they have any right to. The bass integrity along with some of the greatest explosive drumwork on the whole disc gives the music a lot of high ground.
While I may not compare It’s Time…To Rise From The Grave to the likes of something Atheist or Nile would drop, this is definitely showing an increased interest in technical delivery. Making that full jump can be a dangerous step, but I wouldn’t put it past them. For now, take from the band what matters most. Their brand is an incredible dive into grimy OSDM basics brought to modern levels of harshness, and strong technique that doesn’t boast anything showy, nor overstay its welcome.
Undeath - It’s Time…To Rise From The Grave was released April 22nd, 2022 via Prosthetic Records
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that wakes us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry.