For the past decade, German death metal bruisers DESERTED FEAR have been slogging away in metal’s underground, building an uncompromising reputation and consistent sound. With 2017 marking a major milestone for the band, third record Dead Shores Rising aims to kick start the band’s year in fine style. But, does this new offering propel the band on an upwards trajectory to the next tier within extreme music?
After a short but dramatic orchestral introduction track, DESERTED FEAR roar into a life in an instant through a barrage of fast-paced riffing and ferocious drumming as The Fall Of Leaden Skies kicks the record into life. The grooves of guitarists Fabian Hildbrandt and Manuel Glatter carry the weight of the track as the tempo is maintained at an all time high whilst Glatter‘s guttural vocal blasts reign above the ferocity. A strong start indeed.
From there, Dead Shores Rising doesn’t allow the listener to pause for breath as the record continues to batter the listener with a plethora of blasts from Simon Mengs‘ drums, solid dual riffing and commanding vocal deliveries. The Edge of Insanity offers a whirlwind of a listening experience through riffs that ooze groove and neat hooks that build to an explosive segment of utter ferocity whereas Open Their Gates boasts some truly impressive solo work from guitarist Fabian Hildbrandt. It’s clear that DESERTED FEAR know their sound and utilise it to the absolute fullest, driving an intense and relentless listening experience thus far.
Around the half-way point of the record, following a short interlude to give the listener a brief respite, the record picks up where it left off with Towards Humanity roaring into top gear. As a collective unit, the chemistry that flows within DESERTED FEAR has resulted in a concise and solid sound with each of the three piece combining well to create a massive wall of sound whilst still allowing each other room to breathe. The interchanges between Fabian Hildbrandt‘s lead guitar play and Manuel Glatter‘s explosive vocal deliveries works a charm and at times, proves to be the standout trait on Dead Shores Rising. Take The Carnage for example, that boasts solid riffs that keep the momentum flowing whilst Glatter‘s vocals interchange with the tone and adds that much needed bite. The result? It’s explosive, hard to contain and showcases the sheer power contained within death metal.
By the closing section of the record, there are little surprises left on offer but that doesn’t necessarily prove to be a negative aspect. Face Our Destiny unfolds with sweeping riffs and blistering drum work from Simon Mengs whilst Till The Last Drop showcases a glimpse of melody through some dazzling lead play from Fabian Hildbrandt. Yet, it’s closing track (on the standard version of the record as there are two bonus tracks) Carry On which contains the biggest surprise, that is completely unexpected and rather left-field given the tone and style up to this point. Carry On boasts some of the most melodic lead guitar work on the record, which truly showcases the talent at the band’s disposal, one that truly helps the track stand on it’s own two feet. But, it’s slightly disappointing this aspect is only explored briefly and by the last track, it almost feels like an opportunity wasted for DESERTED FEAR to really demonstrate their musical prowess. If this aspect was explored more consistently throughout the record, then it would truly result in Dead Shores Rising being something incredibly special indeed.
Dead Shores Rising is a death metal album through and through, there’s no ground-breaking innovation or genre-bending exploration on show here. But, DESERTED FEAR have stuck to the guidelines of death metal by the book and that is absolutely fine, as the end product is a solid slab of death metal done just right. This is a record that will appeal to anyone with an ear for the extreme. Whilst it won’t propel the band to the summit of the genre, Dead Shores Rising is a consistently solid record, one which will batter the listener into submission through a blistering audio assault.
Dead Shores Rising is set for release on January 27th via Century Media Records.
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