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Undead – False Prophecies Review

Band: Undead
Album: False Prophecies
Genre: Death Metal
Label: Listenable Records
Country: Unknown
Release Date: April 27th, 2015False Prophecies Image

Yes, you read that right. Country ‘unknown’. We don’t know where they’re from. Better even, we don’t know who they are. The only thing we know is that they describe themselves as ‘The Death’.

From their Facebook page:
“The lights of a legend faded in time. Our duty is to revive this dark neglected flame. We are back from the dead, among the living, among you, confide you what we are: The Death.”

It’s an obvious reference to, you guessed it, Death. But it’s definitely intriguing and a little mystery surrounding a band can only help to stimulate an initial interest. I must admit it’s the reason I decided to check them out. That, and the fact that they promised me music for the fans of Death, Obituary, Asphyx, Massacre, and so on. Who wouldn’t be excited after reading that?

And they certainly kept their promises. This album is one big nostalgic journey back to the early/mid nineties of death metal. To the old school sound many of us know and love. However, that’s also the main issue here; you’ve probably heard it all before.
There’s not a single track on this album that didn’t remind me of another song by any of those bands mentioned earlier. From the very beginning, on the opening track ‘Unborn’, you hear Death. That opening riff came straight out of Leprosy. And ‘Unbound To Eternity’ constantly reminded me of Living Monstrosity. ‘False Prophecies’, the title track, is slower paced and more doom influenced. This one could have easily been taken straight from any Asphyx release.

These two bands, Death and Asphyx, came to mind most often. The vocalist reminded me a lot of Van Drunen, and the music mostly of Death, Obituary or Asphyx. So there’s nothing even remotely new here, but that was never their intention. The complete opposite in fact. Their sole purpose was to bring back the old school death metal sound. And they succeeded.

They give you very little to complain about when it comes to musicianship. Every riff on this release is heavy and decimating, just the way I like them. The solo’s are all very well excecuted. The drumming is tight and powerful and even the bass comes to the fore quite often. The vocalist however, while he’s certainly not bad, quickly starts to sound monotonous (unlike Van Drunen). They’re all talented and experienced musicians. And they’re obviously not new to the genre. I guess they are what we would call ‘a supergroup’, like Faust or Voodoocult. Only this time, they’re incognito. These five unknown death metal warriors don’t make music for fame or money, but for the glory of death metal! (That’s some movie potential right there).

What bothered me the most with this release, is that I wanted to like it more than I did. Because honestly, if I had to choose between False Prophecies or any Death album, I’d pick the latter. Same goes for Gruesome for example, who released a terrific, highly Death-influenced album not so long ago; ‘Savage Land’. And while I was even more impressed by Gruesome than by Undead, I’d still pick any original old school death metal album over Savage Land. These albums simply suffer under the fact that they draw so much inspiration from these legendary bands, that they eventually become overshadowed by the greatness of their influences. Why listen to an album that’s contantly reminding you of The Rack, while you could just go and listen to The Rack instead? No matter how good these albums are, they’re simple tributes to much greater bands and much greater albums. And when has a tribute band or album ever been able to surpass its muse? Never. So I’ll listen to Undead once or twice and then switch back to the original material.

And that’s a bit of a shame, because False Prophecies is a good, solid and coherent old school death metal album. It’s great fun to go back in time and be reminded of why so many of us fell in love with this genre in the first place. But in the end, this album is doomed to gather dust in a corner for months, because you’ll just be too busy relistening all your favourite classics afterwards.

Rating: 7/10

Tracklisting:

1. Unborn
2. False Prophecies
3. Voices Within
4. Praise The Absurd
5. Castrate Humanity
6. Descending Souls
7. Unbound To Eternity
8. Emerging From The Depths

Total Playing Time: 42:19

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMp96rRi6Ik

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