Written by: The Administrator
One of my greatest regrets as a reviewer is dropping the ball on a writeup of Dead Register's stellar Captive EP, back in the primordial days of the Sleeping Village's so-called tenure. There's really no excuse for not finishing said review, particularly given how struck I was with their potent blend of highly emotive post-rock/doom. Thus: after spending a long while digesting Dead Register's latest EP, I knew it was time to (finally) talk about why you should be listening to 'em.
This EP is a bit of a conglomerate of material, featuring a (killer!) new track, some live versions of previously released material, and a remix of the title track provided by industrial/doom metal duo Lament Cityscape. There's five track contained herein, and the variety on display makes for an intrinsically odd albeit very enjoyable release. Don't Fail Me ultimately serves as a quality amuse-bouche in advance of Dead Register's forthcoming full length.
At risk of hyperbole, Dead Register represents pretty much everything I look for when it comes to an enjoyable music-listening experience. They write intensely compelling and ear-wormy tunes. They show an incredible knack for applying dynamics across the breadth of individual tracks, as well as an EP as an entire package. The atmosphere is lushly haunting without feeling obsessed with its own self-image. Their dual-bass approach means, well, a whole lotta bass presence. They have a unique take on genre boundaries, sliding in comfortably between the intersections of grunge, post-rock, post-metal, doom, and...goth rock? I guess? a lot to take in, but in any case, this crew is the real damn deal. Literally everything they have released has managed to worm its way into my subconscious to a frightening degree.
Dead Register have, in other words, that intangible X-factor. Whether or not we can define what qualifies said X-factor as such, however, is another question altogether--but when it’s there, we feel it. It is the indescribable richness that draws us in. To my ears, at least, M. Chvasta's vocals are dripping with said quality; take, as a prime example, the captivating choruses on "Don't Fail Me" or "Ender." Across the board, the instrumentation similarly reeks of richness, with pulsating groove and opulent melody. An emphasis on intriguing composition lends each track a wholly distinct identity--see the solos and breakdowns in both "Circle of Lies" and "Fiber" for an indication of how effortlessly Dead Register avoid formulaic composition. Their general aesthetic is brooding and emotive, but not overtly so--the emotion on display feels genuine, rather than sappy, or saccharine, or overly tortured. That alone is a huge strength.
By benefit of its disjointed component parts, Don't Fail Me doesn't seem like it work feel as cohesive in the hands of a lesser band. But as a whole package, this works quite well indeed--even within the context of an EP featuring a track by an entirely separate band. As it stands, Dead Register are aggressively good at what they do, and Don't Fail Me is yet another feather in their already well-feathered cap. I'm super excited to hear what they cook up next.
Dead Register - Don't Fail Me was released Feb. 26th 2021
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!