The first word that comes to mind in considering the new music of Dead World Reclamation is extravagant — quickly followed by exhilarating, ingenious, and barbaric. Mark Erskine‘s cover art for this Arizona band’s new album, Aura of Iniquity, is itself astonishing, but make no mistake: it’s not misleading, because the music within is equally striking and no less memorable. And the songs’ lyrical themes are in keeping with the fascinations of the art and the music.
For those who may be familiar with the band’s first album, Sentient, you will be expecting melodic death metal, and that is indeed still at the heart of the band’s creations, but this new album also represents a considerable divergence from what came before. The compositions are even more intricate, and now exhibit even greater technicality in the execution while also bringing into play scintillating keyboards and mesmerizing orchestrations, without stinting on bludgeoning brutality.
As a sign of these changes, and of the kind of experience that spawned all those adjectives in the opening paragraph, we present today a lyric video for an album track named “Heralds of the Formless One” in advance of the record’s release on April 23rd.
The song’s lyrics tell the tale of a race of advanced beings who set out for the stars to discover other worlds, only to encounter a formless horror with godlike power that drove them to the brink of madness and compelled their servitude in the black god’s quest to devour the cosmos — and the tale seems to take the form of a message delivered to another civilization, perhaps our own, of the terrors that their future will bring.
As the backdrop for this blood-freezing narrative, the band immerse the listener in a jaw-dropping, pulse-pounding musical spectacle, an extravagant panoply of scintillating, fleet-fingered fretwork, bullet-spitting percussive bursts, rippling keyboards, glorious soloing, and ravishing shrieks and roars.
The music jolts and jars, boggles the mind, and unveils panoramic vistas of gleaming nebulae and a terrifying abyss. There are sensations of both chilling peril and wide-eyed wonder in these elaborate amalgamations, as well as a beguiling and beautifully positioned duet between bright, dancing keys and a growling bass, a duet which becomes the prelude to a closing sequence that juxtaposes brutish, pile-driving blows with sounds of glittering celestial mystery.
We mentioned the imaginativeness of the lyrics, and that’s not limited to the words of the song we’re premiering today, as you’ll see from the band’s following comment that was shared with us:
“We’re five guys who love both Death Metal and a good story, therefore Aura of Iniquity is a series of short stories told in Death Metal format. Roaming through tales of dark bargains with otherworldly beings made for power untold, forests where gargantuan spiders dictate the law of the land, to necromancy told from the viewpoint of the body possessed. While our musical influences are definitely reflected in our songs, we tried to approach this album with the mindset of just creating music we’d love to listen to. We feel we’ve grown immensely since our first release, Sentient, and hope you all enjoy the album as much as we enjoyed creating it.”
Credit for the tracking, mixing, and mastering of the new album goes to Jeremy Davis of Metasonic Studios. It’s recommended for fans of The Black Dahlia Murder, Wretched, The Faceless, Inferi, and Alterbeast. It will be ready for pre-order soon.