Undead - False Prophecies (2015)
Review by Trevor Proctor
Undead appear to be a relative newcomer to the genre as there’s very little information currently available about them online, even the press release sent with the digital promo was quite limited – information about the identity of its members, formation details etc. are all quite sketchy. Undead’s debut album has just been released by Listenable Records and the band consists of five members; Angelus on bass, Drauhr drums, Noctidurnal and Necros on guitar with King Oscuro performing vocals. Even the hallowed Metal Archives has very little info on Undead, not even a mention of previous releases or associated acts, which is very unusual for what is literally the font of all knowledge for metal. The press release did however mention the five individuals in Undead are “back from the dead” – now whether this is a ploy to spark interest or a genuine fact will only be determined once their identities are revealed, which no doubt will happen through time.
The band was formed, at one stage or another, with the primary objective of creating old school Death Metal in the vein of Morbid Angel, Possessed, Obituary and Death which is blatantly obvious from the first few notes. False Prophecies features eight tracks which follow average death metal duration of around five minutes each. The vocals are extremely guttural, instantly bringing Obituary and Death to mind, and as with those great bands, the vocals play a pivotal role in Undead’s sound, playing a front and centre role in every song, again bringing comparisons with Obituary and especially Death.
Whilst the tracks at times are driven by vocals the overall sound is the result of a very cohesive group of musicians – the drums and bass are as tight as a gnat’s arse and the guitar work is exemplary, the riffs suitably heavy and solos extremely well executed. This is an album where the music speaks for itself, some may criticise their name, album title or even the fact they’re playing old school death metal but I’m of the opinion that if it’s played well then that’s a good thing. Thankfully the music here is very solid - if you had to draw comparisons you’d go with Death’s music from around the time of Spiritual Healing which is a massive recommendation.
There’s a very fine line between writing/playing old school death metal and the pitfall of downright plagiarism, fortunately this is a pitfall Undead have easily managed to avoid. Granted, Undead’s influences are very obvious to hear but this is a solid release that stands as testimony to the talent of individuals involved, rather than a rip-off of glories past.
Gruesome are currently causing a massive stir with their album, Savage Land, another album that pays homage to the music of Death and I see no reason whatsoever why Undead can’t cause similar rumbles - the music is certainly strong enough to do so. Whilst instantly likeable, False Prophecies has a depth to its sound that you really start to appreciate with subsequent listens and it’s this depth that sets them ahead of the many old school Death Metal clones currently flooding our world. Undead opted to let the music speak for itself with their decision to keep their identities secret but one thing’s for sure – whether or not Undead features a line-up of established names, is irrelevant, what is relevant is the music which is high quality, authentic and extremely well played Death Metal, a very strong release.
1 - Unborn
2 - False Prophecies
3 - Voices Within
4 - Praise the Absurd
5 - Castrate Humanity
6 - Descending Souls
7 - Unbound to Eternity
8 - Emerging from the Depths
Undead's False Prophecies is available now from Listenable Records