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UNDEATH


UNDEATH 

"Lesions of a Different Kind"

By Dr. Abner Mality

UNDEATH is really kind of a goofy name for a death metal band, if you think about it. Doesn't attaching the "Un" to Death mean it's not death anymore? Well, once you listen to this Rochester, NY outfit, you'll know this is nothing BUT death metal. The grotesquely crude cover art harkens back to the early 90's and stuff like like "Slowly We Rot" and BAPHOMET and that's what a lot of the inside sounds like, too. Or at least they want you to think they are trying hard to move in that direction.

 First cut (pun intended) "Suitably Hacked to Gore" tries for a loose, raw and ugly sound and mostly makes it. Tech-death this is not. The band tries to touch on several styles of DM, from frantic CANNIBAL CORPSE style mashers to grooving MASSACRE/SIX FEET UNDER riff-fests to the screechy "skronk" of slam death. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I like the more simple, catchy brutality of "Shackles of Sanity", "Lord of the Grave" and "Phantasmal Festering"...it's good when they don't overthink it. When they do, they wind up with confused tracks like "Entranced By the Pendulum", which sounds like about three different songs in one and none of them fitting well with the other. Through it all, the guttural vocals are ghastly enough, but not particularly noteworthy.

I get the feeling they are still trying to figure things out, but deserve points tor sticking to the crude and nasty roots instead of veering off into incomprehensible tech-death or even worse, deathcore.