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THE DEAD (Ritual Executions) CD

When I think of Australia's music scene, I automatically think of all the wonderful high energy rock 'n' roll bands as, for example, Radio Birdman, Bored! or The Hitmen. Furthermore heavy rock bands like Buffalo, Masters Apprentices or Coloured Balls comes to my mind, but I wouldn't associate death metal with Oz. But that has changed a lot, and that is due to THE DEAD. Originally self-released in 2009 and limited to only 100 copies, 'Ritual Executions' is THE DEAD's second album, re-released by Diabolical Conquest Records in 2010 and it's definitely a considerable attempt in the field of death metal. It is not that THE DEAD reawaken my interest in death metal, but they succeeded in recording a highly enjoyable album, which reminds me of those days when Swedish death metal was the hottest shit in town. Among other things, this is cared for by a crunchy production (roughly comparable with the one that was created by Sunlight Studio), but also by the hard groovin', doom-drowned metal riffs of 'Ritual Executions'.

It is obvious that THE DEAD does not intend to limit its crushing sound to the usual death metal scheme, despite all the similarities. They're open to other musical influences, which leads to some pleasant surprises as, for example 'Born In A Grave' where they managed to insert some high-speed black metal parts in their filthy death metal brew. 'Centurion is powered by monstrous bulldozing riffs without neglecting the visceral hooks, while 'Cannibal Abattoir' gives an impressive demonstration of their technical skills. Adam Kelcher's gigantic, swirling, tornadic riffs do not lack brutality and Chris Morse demands respect for top notch drumming. Only vocalist Mike Yee fulfils all death metal standards with his inhuman and guttural growls though he too is always able to leave trodden paths. Their strength lies on the one hand in combining powerful grooves with technically demanding rhythms, on the other hand in enriching their death metal basis with a well-developed doom/heavy rock edge. A good example of this is the last instrumental song 'Death Metal Suicide', which is also surprisingly melodious. THE DEAD won't change the face of death metal, but if you consider yourself a fan of this genre, you have to check this out.