Wednesday 13 September 2017

Review: With The Dead – 'Love From With The Dead'

'Love From With The Dead'

With The Dead – the new(ish) doom supergroup featuring members of Cathedral, Electric Wizard and Bolt Thrower – released an incredible debut in the form of their self-titled album in 2015 that lived up to the band members individual past credits and still managed to sound unique. The band's sophomoric effort 'Love From With The Dead' therefore understandably has some high expectations surrounding it, that it thankfully not only lives up to, but surpasses.

Tim Bagshaw's monolithic fuzz-drenched machinations paired with Lee Dorian's unmistakable vocal style is once again the cornerstone of the album. The core of the band's sound remains relatively intact from it's predecessor with them opting to solidify rather than diversifying. This time round though it feels tighter and more focused than their eponymous debut, a notable example of which is in new drummer Alex Jones' more precise and methodical performance than his predecessor.

Songs such as 'Isolation', 'Egyptian Tomb', 'Reincarnation Of Yesterday', 'Cocaine Phantoms', and 'Anemia' provide the crushing doom backbone of the album. Slow methodical pacing, drenched in fuzz and pierced by Dorian's angriest vocal performance in years the album is an unrepentant revelation of hate and misery.

The album's crowning glories though have to be the ten-minute 'Watching the Ward Go By' with it's slow atmospheric drones building into a dark and melancholic lament in low-fi before erupting into unfettered despair. As well as the malevolent and experimental eighteen-minute finale 'CV1', which sounds simply nightmarish, especially with the noise-industrial synths chewing up the last few minutes.

The production is nicely balanced, as with the previous album, which is surprising considering the amount of fuzz, low-fi elements and in some cases drone and noise used. But at it's heart the doom and stoner core of the songwriting makes this incredibly catchy and groovy which never gets lost in the mix.

This is in many ways a tighter and more effective album that the band's previous offering. Focusing on the elements that caught a lot of people's attention and extrapolating the more esoteric parts of their sound into epic pieces. The album builds effectively on that core sound and cements their presence as an exciting act that has forged a bold identity of its own.  

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