"Beyond the Threshold of Death"

By Dr. Abner Mality

I'm a sucker for old school Swedish death metal, as anybody who's read my ramblings in the Chronicles for any length of time knows, and so are Germany's Lifeless. Therefore, you'd think "Beyond the Threshold of Death" would be as pleasing to me as a tub full of innards (my tastes are different, I'll admit) but this time around, I find Lifeless' worship of the classic "Stockholm Sound" just too mechanical and by the book for me to really endorse.

True, you could do worse than choosing to clone Dismember, but there's got to be some kind of extra kick to your homage. Something that indicates you're doing more than just going through the motions. And I don't get that here. The cover of "Casket Garden" (originally by, who else, Dismember) is so indicative of the original that the questions arises: why would you listen to this and not the original? I can't think of a single reason. And the band's own originals like "Retaliation" and "In The End of Life" have that same a faded Xerox of the original. Only track that really shows that extra oomph is the title ditty...a longer song brimming with good riffs and the indefinable feeling that the band just cared a little bit more.

I can't slam these guys, because they love that old time religion, but fellas, you got put more of yourselves into it or you're just gonna be...lifeless.