"Deathsteps To Oblivion"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Once again I encounter The Dead, a grim trio from Australia. Don't expect much sunshine breaking through the clouds in their miserable world. This is death/doom in the truest sense of the word and bound to appeal to suffering souls the world over.

Five lumbering tracks bow on "Deathsteps to Oblivion" and while I can't say The Dead have made the breakthrough to truly classic status, they are smart enough to toss some variation into their turgid style. At some points, this sounds like Incantation style doom, while at others, the specters of the Peaceville Three raise their hoary heads. There are occasional burst of speed, a bluesier kind of sludge feeling and even some fragile melody."Maze of Fire" starts with a racket like Cronos vomiting in reverse before giving way to crushing gloom. The mellow break here will definitely conjure up images of My Dying Bride, but on second cut "Disturbing the Dead", the band really lay into some great doom riffs with maximum power. Best track for sure. "The God Beyond" starts with surprising death metal speed and an almost happy sound, but after a lull, it morphs into sad, twin-guitar driven doom that even has weepy female voices. "Terminus" has a bit of that sludgy feel, which I'm not sure works as well as pure doom. The album concludes with the title track.

Although not what I'd call a classic, "Deathsteps To Oblivion" still manages to be a very solid release in its genre and will certainly not hurt The Dead's reputation.