"Ritual Death Metal"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Deathchain is a Danish death metal band that has been at it for many years and never made much of an impact. I've gotten some of their prior output and I can barely remember anything about it.  I wasn't expecting much out of "Ritual Death Metal".

To give these guys their due, they have improved in almost every facet of the game with this release, but I'm not sure it will be enough to propel them to the next level. It's obvious they've put a lot more emphasis on song structure and atmosphere, as most tunes here are more than the stereotypical blasting we've heard from Deathchain before. The low key piano intro "Voices of Sharur" signifies something is up, "Seven Asakku Shadows" erupts in more of the style we're accustomed to, but even here, there's more mixing up of tempos and an off the wall approach to songwriting. Later tunes like the doomy "Like Worms Upon The Earth" with its keyboard enhancements and the varied "Tiamat's Eyes of Death" drive home the message: Deathchain has upped its game. This last track in particular is kind of a shocker, as it starts with a very laid back and jazzy feel.

It is a noble effort to elevate the band but still I feel Deathchain have not really come up with the magnum opus that wil get them talked about. There is hope now, though, and "Ritual Death Metal" is getting them where they need to go.