CD Review: “Love From With The Dead” by With The Dead

The ear piercing, distortion on “Isolation” opens up the second slab of doom released by With The Dead. The lumbering riffs and plodding drums meander like a blind giant in a forest. It is a fitting way to kick things off on Love From With The Dead. “Egyptian Tomb” is notable for its spacey Phrygian chord progression and rolling bass lines. The eerie spoken word is underscored by spider like chord picking and subdued tribal drums before guitarist Tim Bagshaw unleashes a bluesy lead. “Cocaine Phantoms” is as spectral as the title expresses with an ethereal guitar line and Lee Dorrian’s raspy vocals grating over a doom laden riffs. It is primal metal that discards technique in favor of sheer mood and heaviness. “Watching The Ward Go By” has a running time of over 10 minutes, and is the second longest song on the record. The ominous guitar strumming and heart pumping beat conveys a secluded, maddening atmosphere setting the tone for the song’s duration. The droning, forceful riffs during the second half on this track only heighten the hopeless feeling of this song. There is a strong Type O Negative feel on “Anemia” with its grandiose opening riff which contrasts with the slow tempo. The 17 minute long “CV1” is an epic funeral dirge that appropriately concludes this album. A sullen, downcast composition that is relentless and unapologetic.

With The Dead’s second album is commendable for its cohesiveness and go for the gut attitude. Doom metal is about feeling, a depressive feeling that offers a strange sense of consolation. The members of this band know this as they have played in such luminary bands as Cathedral and Electric Wizard. Love From With The Dead is primal, yet complex as the despondent mood on this record persists for 65 minutes. All three instruments are highlighted and the result is a deafening experience.

Love From With The Dead is a labor of love. The seven songs on this album are prime doom metal that should satisfy fans of the band member’s previous groups. The line-up change with new members Leo Smee (bass) and Alex Smith (drums) gives the music a fresh kick and hopefully this line-up remains for future albums. Let the power of the riff compel you.

For news and tour dates, check out the band’s Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/withthedead/

CD Review: ‘With The Dead’ by With The Dead

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