Tuesday, 29 September 2015

With The Dead - 'With The Dead' (Album Review)

By: Chris Bull

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 16/10/2015
Label: Rise Above Records



It's evident that Bagshaw has acquired a few new fuzz pedals since the last Serpentine Path album as opening track 'Crown Of Burning Stars' is so oppressive, fuzzy and dense that it made my teeth itch. After the backwards speaking samples, the crunch of the guitar is incredible. The vocals are classic Dorrian and the bands sound on a whole is somewhere between Serpentine Path, 'Dopethrone' era Electric Wizard, early Cathedral and 'Misanthropic Alchemy' era Ramesses.  This for me is an album of the year contender, the kind of thing you'd expect from 3 of the scene's most influential figures. All expectation has been lived up to. Prepare to be blown away.



‘With The Dead’ CD//DD//LP track listing:

01. Crown of Burning Stars
02. The Cross
03. Nephthys
04. Living With The Dead
05. I Am The Virus
06. Screams From My Own Grave

With The Dead is:

Lee Dorrian | vocals
Tim Bagshaw | guitars, bass
Mark Greening | drums

The Review:

In life there are only a few certainties; death, taxes and Tim Bagshaw creating absolutely crushing riffs. When news of the formation of With The Dead hit, fans of sludge, doom and everything heavy had momentary cardiac arrest, understandably given the rich history of its members; Lee Dorrian, Mark Greening and the aforementioned Bagshaw. I jumped at the chance to review this, but is it any good? Absofuckinglutely.

It's evident that Bagshaw has acquired a few new fuzz pedals since the last Serpentine Path album as opening track 'Crown Of Burning Stars' is so oppressive, fuzzy and dense that it made my teeth itch. After the backwards speaking samples, the crunch of the guitar is incredible. The vocals are classic Dorrian and the bands sound on a whole is somewhere between Serpentine Path, 'Dopethrone' era Electric Wizard, early Cathedral and 'Misanthropic Alchemy' era Ramesses.

'The Cross' is equally punishing and terrifying, Greening's signature drum fills like body blows from heavyweight boxer Butterbean and the riffs crawl like a  snake through the speakers into your brain making the perfect foil for Dorrian's mighty vocals. 'Nephthys' is an atomic chunk of the weightiest DOOM. The guitars harmonise with a riff that channels early EW and it's not hard to see why their riffs got progressively worse after Bagshaw left. 'Living with The Dead' has a fairly simplistic riff but still feels like a battering ram to the face. Fragments of latter day Cathedral swing amongst the sea of anguish flooding from Bagshaw's strings and even some clean picking, still very dense atmospherically, reflects Ramesses' last effort 'Possessed By the Rites Of Magick'. It gets heavy again as some ethereal screams ring out and Greening's drums are notable for their sheer force.

Some classic Bagshaw swaggers out next with a riff that sits at the crossroads somewhere between ‘Dopethrone’, Rammeses' 'The Tomb' and 'Emanations' by Serpentine Path. Dorian's vocals are at their most snarling and twisted, spitting out the song's title between the equally potent verses. An element of the Hammer Horror series is injected into 'Screams From My Own Grave' with the torturous riffs suffocating and the vocals similar to Dorrian's efforts on the Teeth Of Lions Rule The Divine album. It's an absolutely devastating track that crawls and scrapes along the floor of your mind, reaching for you to take it's blood soaked hand. The high pitched screams at the end and the wailing feedback noise cuts through the mire, the thing that crawls and scrapes has taken your mind hostage and with it the record concludes. 

This for me is an album of the year contender, the kind of thing you'd expect from 3 of the scene's most influential figures. All expectation has been lived up to. Prepare to be blown away.


‘With The Dead’ is available from 16/10/2015

FFO: Serpentine Path, Cathedral, Ramesses,

Band info: facebook


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