Doom power supertrio With The Dead making a lumbering impression with its self titled debut. With The Dead is abundant in molten riffs and colossal drumming. Lee Dorrian (Cathedral, Napalm Death), Tim Bagshaw (Electric Wizard) and Mark Greening (Electric Wizard) put their musicianship, expertise and love for all things heavy into a cauldron and created a flawless doom record. The lo-fi Sabbath inspired “Crown of Burning Stars” is a bulky, sludgey affair so heavy it moves mountains. The music is stripped down and focuses on the majesty of the riff. The bluesy guitar lead soars from the ooze of riffs beneath it and is one of the many highlights on this track. The downcast intro of “The Nephthys” descends like a man heading towards the unknown. Nephthys is the proctector of the mummy in Egyptian mythology and a protector of the dead. How fitting, as the song slowly becomes more uplifting towards the end, like a man making peace with death. The album’s final track “Screams From My Own Grave” is dissonant and unsettling. The monolithic minor riffs are loud enough to wake the dead while the hypnotic drumming manages to keep things somewhat on beat.
With The Dead is a “supergroup” for lack of a better term, but it is true. The members have played in some of the most influential metal bands ever. However, neither member tries to outperform the other and the band is cohesive. The musicianship is solid, but never pretentious or over the top. This is good as the band never overplays its songs. Doom metal bands are notorious for making tracks too long. There seems to be this notion, that records with several 10 minute plus tracks are somehow masterpieces or serious works of musical art. This is not so as the tracks become musical exercises rather than songs.
With The Dead is a great debut that doom metal fans will enjoy. It is so heavy you will be jamming with the dead from the initial guitar note.
Check out the band’s Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/withthedead