(NCS writer TheMadIsraeli serves up Part 2 of his week-long series on modern melodic death metal.)
One of the complaints I’ve always heard about melodeath is that it isn’t aggressive enough. Well, to those complainers, In Dread Response is here to tell you to fuck yourself.
The debut of this New Zealand band, released in 2008, is really something to behold. I mean, just listen to the two singles (one here and one after the jump):
These guys leave a scorching path of fire every time a song is over, and those two songs tell you everything you need to know. EVERY SONG is a blitzkrieg of fast, twin-guitar-centered melodeath utilizing the full-time rhythm/lead style of Dark Tranquility. They aren’t offering up the technical ecstasy and dynamics of Allegaeon, but instead opt for tried-and-true stylistic leanings. In Dread Response, except for a few songs, tends to prefer this wall-of-melody approach. It works quite well, and the result is that their music is completely unrelenting.
The band don’t much believe in tempo changes, or slower tempos for that matter. There are no stops, no breaks, no easy-does-it moments. From The Oceanic Graves is a pure, non-stop melodic assault on every possible front. It contains A LOT of lead breaking, small solos, and the like, amongst the tight, thrashy riffing, which keeps the music feeling fresh, fast moving, and interesting.
Dark Tranquility I mentioned earlier, and for good reason, because that’s obviously one of this band’s favorite influences. All the riffs have that somber, emotionally charged feel that DT is known for. The riffing is comprised of a lot of tremolo picking, thrashing-on power chords to provide background for the “lead” riffs, and some nifty clean parts to provide SMALL bits of rest from the assault, although they mainly serve as intro’s so the songs will kick you in the teeth even harder when they take off like fighter jets.
Individually noting each song on this album is really pointless, because all of them — for the better — were built from the same blueprint, and yet they all somehow manage to sound diverse and interesting despite the formulaic similarity. The songs also carry a good deal of emotion — they sound and feel as if these guys are putting their all into it.
You should get this album, as well as their followup album, Embers In The Spiritless Void. Listening to them may lead you to conclude that Dark Tranquility will soon find themselves shoved out of their corner. In Dread Response deserves serious recognition.
I leave you with one of my fav tracks off this album — “Concrete Sanctuary”.