CD Reviews – The Dregs Of Hades Lock Up
01. Death itself, brother of sleep (Intro)
02. Hell will poison the ruins
03. The dregs of Hades
04. Black illumination
05. Dark force of conviction
06. Thief in wrong direction
07. Dead legions
08. The triumph of the grotesque
09. Death without a name
10. A sinful life of power
12. The blind beast
13. Reign in Hell
14. Crucifixion of Distorted Existence
CLOSE is a union of extreme music luminaries who have converged to create a musical beast that reflects both the main groups of the individual members and significant enough to have its own distinct identity. It’s been four years since the supergroup’s last studio album, “Demonization”, and the formation of the group has undergone some upheaval since then; not necessarily in the wrong way. Come to the end of 2021, the mighty CLOSE come back with “The dregs of Hades”, a 14-track banger that’s likely to appeal to fans of crust punk and grindcore to fans of old school death metal.
Death metal / grindcore juggernaut now claims drumming skills Adam jarvis (MISERY INDEX, PIG DESTROYER, BROWSE). This change is significant, given that the American replaces the founding member and extraordinary percussionist. Nicolas barker (BORDEAUX, BRUJERIA, DIMMU BORGIR, etc). Jarvis is a powerful powerhouse throughout “The dregs of Hades”, but there is a certain finesse and fluidity of performance which is even a higher level for him on tracks like “Dark force of conviction” and “Dead legions”.
Longtime guitarist continues to keep the onslaught of stringed instruments alive Anton Reisenegger (PENTAGRAM CHILE, CRIMINAL) and bassist Shane Embury (DEATH BY NAPALM, CROCHET SEED, VENIMOUS CONCEPT, etc.), which also make time in BRUJERIA. The long laundry list of members’ other projects is relevant as it highlights the fact that these busy musicians have come together to create a record that can stand up to any extreme metal album released today, and nothing in this one. this doesn’t sound like it came from a “group of side projects.”
With “The dregs of Hades”, former singer Tomas lindberg (TO DOORS, FEAR FEAR) returns to accompany Kevin sharp (BRUTAL TRUTH, VENIMOUS CONCEPT) who replaced Lindberg in 2014. The two revered singers complement each other extremely well, and the two-part vocal attack is nothing short of madness. Both men employ their mid-range voices, although Sharp more often uses his lower register growls to contrast with Lindbergit is unconditional cries. Compromises are sometimes frequent and dizzying, as with “Hell will poison the ruins”. And on songs like the title song, Lindberg is more present while Sharp sounds violently like adding exclamation marks at the end of sentences.
As you would expect from legendary extreme musicians, the songs on the album stand out from each other. “Black illumination” reaches new heights with a groove-laden distribution that is almost instantly memorable. “Dead Legion” straddles the fine line between the band’s two chosen worlds, death metal and grindcore. Somewhere else, “Death without a name” turns into a frenzy so volatile it feels like the song is about to literally explode, as the album draws closer “Crucifixion of Distorted Existence” shows that the ancients are still so adventurous and musically ambitious, channeling the minds of NEUROSIS and even KILL JOKE to an extent.
CLOSE has proven over time that the band is not just a side project. International Unity continues to be a collection of heavy metal heroes who come together to create a meaningful death metal / grindcore hybrid that is both timeless and avant-garde. They are still hungry. And by the sounds of “The dregs of Hades”, they won’t be slowing down anytime soon.
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