On July 22nd, German label Testimony Records will release two monstrous death metal CDs, the sophomore full length from Poland’s The Dead Goats and the debut full length from Germany’s Demonbreed. Though both pull from the old-school Swedish HM2 sound to an extent, the way that they incorporate that tonality differs and they ultimately head off into different directions. With the release of both records about a month away, last week Deaf Forever premiered a song from both albums. But if you can’t read German, we’re lucky enough to give you the scoop on why you should pay attention to both bands.
First off is The Dead Goats’ sophomore effort ‘All of Them Witches’. The Polish death metal band has been around since 2011, and while it has been close to four years since the release of their debut ‘Path of the Goat’ they have put out a number of splits and EP’s in the interim. Below you can listen to the title track, which is the longest song on the album at nearly seven and a half minutes. But these guys make the most of that extended run-time, hitting listeners with that crunchier HM2 tonality that recalls many of the Stockholm greats. You’ll likely notice that there’s a bit more happening than pure Entombed or Dismember worship happening throughout this song though, as early on they have some soaring melodies that recall some of the better melodic death metal bands from the 90s. The first half reminds me of a perfect cross between the Stockholm and Gothenburg death metal styles, before the instrumentation settles into a lurching, lumbering riff. There’s also a bit more variation to the vocals, with the leads coming in at a raspier howl and the backups adding in low growls that sound like they’re coming from beyond the grave. All of Them Witches finishes with an eerie keyboard arrangement and slower melodic lead, showcasing the band’s ability to switch things up.
Up next is Demonbreed’s debut ‘Where Gods Come to Die’. They’re likely to be the band in this article you might not be familiar with yet, provided they formed last year. But if you were bummed out when Lay Down Rotten called it quits after a sixteen year career you should definitely pay attention to this album, as Demonbreed contains four members who were in Lay Down Rotten at some point including vocalist Jost Kleinert. Below you can listen to the song Barren Wasteland, and based on these guys’ history you’d be right to assume that they’re going to deliver a heavy hitting dose of old-school death metal. The song wastes little time in unleashing its onslaught, as the guitars come in with that rumbling HM2 tonality and lurch forward with precision. Like The Dead Goats, there’s a little bit of melody that seeps in to Demonbreed’s guitar leads, though their approach always finds it back to that bottom heavy, lumbering sound that recalls that distinctly old-school style. One of my favorite parts of Barren Wasteland is the energy of the recording, as every instrument hits the listener with precision and when they really double down on that buzzsaw tonality it has room shaking power. Kleinert sounds in top form too, letting his lower growls expand over the instrumentals with a commanding presence. Though they may be exploring some similar territory to their former band, the members of Demonbreed sound energized and don’t seem to be falling too closely into the exact direction Lay Down Rotten explored later on.
Both ‘All of Them Witches’ and ‘Where Gods Come to Die’ will be out on CD July 22nd, with digital downloads available from Bandcamp. Death metal’s alive and well, and The Dead Goats and Demonbreed are groups worth paying attention to in this crowded space.
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