Roughly two years after the release of their Serpent’s Curse debut album, Heads For the Dead have risen from whatever moldering, lightless tomb where they’ve been hibernating, and they’re hungry… for your flesh. Or at least they certainly sound famished for the delights of crunching bones, rendered entrails, and gushing ichor based on the new song we’re about to present.
That debut album was a massive-sounding exposition of Swedish death metal with an attraction to the tropes of old-school horror, and an addictive work of mauling terror it was, as exemplified by our dropping of one of its tracks into our list of Most Infectious Extreme Metal songs that year. Based on this new song — “At the Dead of Night“, which we’re presenting through a lyric video — they’ve lost none of their ability to crush, rend, and frighten in the intervening time.
But before we get to it, that image at the top of this post isn’t the cover of their forthcoming sophomore album Into the Red — this is:
Quite an eye-catcher, isn’t it? And so is the alternate cover, which you’ll find down below after a few more paragraphs of linguistic spew.
The image at the top of this post depicts the band’s two core members — Jonny Pettersson (Wombbath, Gods Forsaken, Henry Kane), who handles guitars, bass, keys, and FX, and Ralf Hauber (Revel In Flesh), who’s responsible for vocals and the ghastly album concept — plus new veteran drummer Ed Warbie (Gorefest, Hail of Bullets). As on the last album, there are guests on this new album, one of whom contributes to “At the Dead of the Night“.
As you’ll discover, the lyrics of the song portray the madness and hunger of a lusting ghoul who ecstatically feeds at night on the blood and pain of the helpless. In keeping with that imagery, the song is both creepy and maniacal, and it’s a crusher too.
Spectral keyboards provide an eerie and ephemeral overlay, but the chainsaw riffs are immense, delivering spine-shaking chugs as well as doomed, groaning chords. The song also inflicts the pounding of vertebrae-cracking drums, which segue into scampering d-beat rhythms as the riffing hammers and flares, and which rumble as the guitar gruesomely slithers and the keys rise in sensations of sadistic glory. The song is capped by the freakish fireworks of a shrieking, maniacally flickering guitar solo, courtesy of guest performer Matt Moliti from the death metal band Sentient Horror.
And throughout, Ralf Hauber delivers the words in wide-ranging tones, all of them blood-curdling — a mix of bestial, dominating growls, throat-splitting shrieks, and bay-at-the-moon howling.
Yes, indeed, it sounds like a very promising advent for the band’s next full-length offering of death metal horror.
And that’s the alternate album cover, also an eye-catcher, and credit for both covers goes to Branca Studio, whose work has graced the music of such bands as Paradise Lost.
Into the Red will be released by Transcending Obscurity Records. We expect pre-orders to go live on October 2nd. For more info about the release, keep an eye on these locations:
HEADS FOR THE DEAD: