Undeath – Lesions Of A Different Kind (Prosthetic Records)
After whetting our appetites with a couple of tasty demos, Undeath have given us the whole, gristly feast on this debut opus.
And in a year which is promising to surpass 2019 for high grade death metal releases (and that’s saying something), Lesions Of A Different Kind stands tall.
Because the Rochester, NY crew know that old school death metal is nothing without supreme songcraft and a pungent, sickening vibe that seeps into every note. There are sinews of Cannibal Corpse, pre-Amott Carcass and Autopsy in the band’s rotten muscle tissue. And by Christ, there are riffs.
And big, fat, meaty hooks.
And more riffs.
Acidic Twilight Visions is one of the album’s many standout moments, a mid-tempo neck snapper drenched in Morbid Angel’s ooze and flailing at you with twisted, barbed wire riffery.
Shackles Of Sanity sounds like a terrifying, primordial crossbreed between early Bolt Thrower and Immolation.
As for the title track?
Well, The Black Dahlia Murder’s Trevor Strnad makes a guest appearance – and he knows his shit.
The bona fide DM megafan has picked a hell of a tune to lend his rasp to: the song’s blistering, hook-laden fretwork is simply manna from heaven for anyone brought up on Altars Of Madness and Tomb Of The Mutilated.
And throughout, drummer (and cover artist) Matt Browning keeps it subtle and interesting, never threating to overwhelm a song with unnecessary showmanship.
Undeath bring their vision to life
2019’s Sentient Autolysis demo – and its untiled counterpart – showed what Undeath were capable of, hence the buzz on death metal Twitter prior to this release.
Thankfully, the band have taken that nascent promise and run with it, without losing any of the claustrophobic carnage of their demo material.
Indeed, Phantasmal Festering and Archfiend Coercion Methods – two of Undeath’s most unnerving early works – appear on Lesions Of A Different Kind, and benefit from an improved production job.
Lesions Of A Different Kind – an old school lesson
Plenty of emerging bands claim to play old school death metal, but few deliver it with as much panache as Undeath.
This outfit seem to have the genre’s finest elements embedded in their bone marrow.
They’ve mastered it.
And that shows, right across Lesions Of A Different Kind.