"Ritual Executions"

By Dr. Abner Mality

I was turned onto this Australian band by Kunal from Diabolical Conquest webzine. First thing I would think about is changing the name. People putting "The Dead" into any kind of search engine are gonna wind up with about 20 pages on Jerry Garcia and the boys. Which this "Dead" most assuredly is NOT!

This is a raw, earthy mixture of death metal and doom based on simple textures and riffs. It can be extremely hypnotic with its focus on repetition, as the opening cut "Burn The Dead" and the album closer "Death Metal Suicide" prove. This latter song in particular focuses on a cool doomy riff that is repeated almost into infinity. What makes it stand out are the little nuances, such as the shifty bass playing and lead guitar solos. The vocals are an odd processed grinding sound that's hard to describe...somewhat like the weird mushy vocals of Rigor Sardonicous but with more energy and pace. I actually kind of like them.

Other tracks like "Cannibal Abbatoir" and "Born In A Grave" are much more death metallish, striking with harsh aggression and speed. Yet both also have their more down-tempo moments. The band still has some learning to do as far as songcraft goes, as "Dead Centurian" and "Blood Angel" kind of wear out their welcome after a while.

I'd say The Dead might be onto something with their cross of Asphyx and Ramesses. They just need to seriously think about a name change.