Welcome to The Saw’s Butcher Shop! It’s ya girl, your Master Butcher, The Saw. And I’m excited! “Why,” you ask? Because Undeath dropped their sophomore record, It’s Time…To Rise From The Grave, on April 22, 2022 (Prosthetic Records). Now, you already know that The Saw LOVES Death Metal. And the rise of New School Death Metal as of late is my favorite. Undeath, literally, burst open into the seen a couple years ago, and their new album is a rotting (ironic) evolution of that genre. The band raises the carcass of 90’s Death Metal like a banner. And they rattle the bones of it’s new iteration.
New School Death Metal
So, while many of the icons of Death Metal carry on in their respective veins of the genre, they also serve as examples – as mentors of sorts – to many in a younger generation. This younger generation (my generation) is recapturing the sense and imagery of 90’s Death Metal. Mainstream music continues to obsess over the same tired, safe, and controllable pop culture. Because of that fact, Death Metal (ironically) lives! Not just the music, but the culture is alive and well in and with a new generation. And my generation has incorporated it’s own identity into the movement, identifying it as it’s very own.
Undeath, and particularly their new album, It’s Time…To Rise From The Grave is a perfect example, and gives evidence of the point. The album opener, “Fiend for Corpses,” and other bangers, like, “The Funeral Within,” carry the torch of old school Cannibal Corpse (think, The Bleeding era). The structures of the riffs, timing, vocal cadence, and guitar harmonies are unmistakably influenced by the old school legends. Likewise, the first single from the record, “Rise from the Grave,” is clearly a nod to Carcass; Bill Steer-like riffs and harmonies layered with a heavy thrash riff. But Undeath compose modern Metal riffs and incorporate these into the tracks, as well. Some songs, like, “Necrobionics,” “Head Splattered in Seven Ways,” and “Human Chandelier” contain (almost) a Hardcore sense – with crushing, groovy riffs and pounding drum attacks. Undeath are pulling off a balancing act to near perfection! And where It’s Time… has evolved from the bands debut is precisely in this balance of old and new school Death Metal.
There are no shortages of screeching, out of control guitar solos, here. But, as is the draw to the classic sound of Death Metal, it’s the buzzing, grinding riffs; time signatures, and ominous tones that really draw The Saw to this band and record. And speaking of ominous tones, the vocals are seriously deep register gutterals – with enough production to give them weight and thickness. I love it! The drumming doesn’t break speed records, though it often borders on tech-death in many songs. But it’s Classic Death Metal, it’s not about speed, but the hand and foot work that is iconic in 90’s Death Metal.
A key characteristic of New School Death Metal, which distinguishes it from the Classic scene (besides the obvious age difference in band members and fans) is that, as a rule, New School doesn’t take itself too seriously. Undeath takes the music VERY seriously, but never themselves. I mean, come on, they sell branded Crocks in their merch! Old School would never do such a thing!LOL Undeath consider themselves nerds, who love the type of music they play. But the reality of the band’s content is simply fantasy. Like a game or a movie, it’s horror music.
Undeath formed in 2019. Their debut full-length, Lesions of a Different Kind was released via Prosthetic Records on October 23, 2020.
- Alex Jones – vocals
- Kyle Beam – guitars
- Matt Browning – drums
- Tommy Wall – bass
- Jared Welch – guitars
Rating: 10/10!! An excellent specimen! A perfect example of New School Death Metal!
Favorite Songs: Fiend for Corpses, The Funeral Within, Bone Wrought