Tuesday 22 September 2015

Down Among The Dead Men - 'Exterminate! Annihilate! Destroy!' (Album Review)

By: Richard Maw

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 06/11/2015
Label: Cyclone Empire

‘Exterminate! Annihilate! Destroy!’ CD//DD track listing

01. Pyramids Of Mars
02. Warriors Of The Deep
03. The Oncoming Storm
04. The Ambassadors Of Death
05. Forged In Fire (ANVIL-Cover feat. guest vocals by Kam Lee)
06. Arc Of Infinity
07. Death Seed
08. War Machines
09. Unearthly Child
10. Tooth And Claw
11. Armageddon Factor
12. Protest And Survive (DISCHARGE-Cover feat. guest vocals by Bob Thunder & Donovan Spenceley)
13. Deadly Assassin
14. Exterminate! Annihilate! Destroy

Down Among The Dead Men is:

Dave Ingram | Vocals
Dennis Blomberg | Guitars
Rogga Johansson | Guitars/Bass
Erik R Bevenrud | Session-Drums (only on the album)

The Review:

Down Among The Dead Men return with this supremely brutal effort. Where their last self titled record was a feral exploration of death metal and crust, this is a better produced affair. From the first track ‘Pyramids of Mars’, it is obvious that the band has put some effort into perfecting their recorded sound. The mix job is very good- with the bass unusually audible underpinning the sound.

The bass sound is indeed a treat; hear it in all its glory on the opening of ‘The Oncoming Storm’. The band still specialise in focused and short songs with death metal, crust punk and grind core all thrown together to make an aggressive melting pot- hear ‘The Ambassadors of Death’ for proof. In a week where we lost Martin “Kiddie” Kearns of Bolt Thrower to the great gig in the sky, it is quite heartening to note that Dave Ingram carries on the Bolt Thrower tradition with these alumni of Paganizer et al; the songs are focused, sometimes fast, sometimes slow and always with maximum impact. ‘Forged in Fire’ is a good example of the band's slower side, showcasing their groove and some downbeat sentiments along the way.

Tracks such as ‘Arc of Infinity’ and ‘Death Seed’ are back to business as usual- with grooves present along with the requisite d-beat pacing. ‘War Machines’ sees Ingram treading familiar title territory as the band whip up a storm behind him. The record has settled into a nice groove at this point- over the fourteen tracks, most songs come in between two and three minutes in length, with the punk spirit intact over the course of riffs and time changes aplenty. ‘Tooth and Claw’ epitomises this “Motorhead crossed with Discharge and Bolt Thrower” approach, but equally the same could be said of ‘Armageddon Factor or ‘Protest and Survive’. Essentially, with the exception of ‘Forged in Fire’, the record's consistency is its strength. You know what you are getting from the opener to the closing one two combination of ‘Deadly Assassin’ and the title track- good quality, lean and focused death metal with crust punk infused through it to the core. This is a storming sophomore effort and a worthy addition to all of involved band members' discographies.

‘Exterminate! Annihilate! Destroy!’ is available here


Band info: facebook | bandcamp