Dead Label – Anthology EP
Release Date: 09/04/2021
Running Time: 25:35
Review by Beth Jones
Irish Metalcore four-piece, Dead Label, first popped onto my radar several years back, after seeing them perform, and interviewing them, at Hammerfest in 2018, when they were three-piece. Their groove laden, heavy as hell style really impressed me, and pre-covid, they were in full swing, performing with big names, and getting ready for spots at major festivals. But, as with everything, the pandemic put the brakes on. However, it has given them time to work on new material for their next full-length release (with their new addition, Mick Hynes), and compile their new EP, “Anthology”, which sees a collection of their singles, and two previously unreleased tracks, brought together for the first time.
The EP kicks off with ‘Deadweight’, one of the unreleased tracks. It’s furiously paced, angry, and sees the band channeling negativity into a blisteringly violent track. I imagine that the pit when this is performed live next will be complete mayhem! It features chunky guitar riffs, hard hitting drums, and superb growling, screaming vocals. A great way to start.
‘Pure Chaos’ follows, which, although not as pacey and frenetic, still offers a tormented edge, thanks to the low crunching guitars, and the tortured vocals of Dan O’Grady. There’s also a great downtuned bass break part way through the song, which sounds dirty as hell.
It’s back to the frenetic next, with ‘Triggered’. Another ultimate pit song me thinks (note to self, if you ever decide to pit to Dead Label, remove glasses, for they will not survive). This track is a little more groove based than ‘Deadweight’ but still packs just as much of a powerful punch.
Claire Percival’s thumping metronomic rhythms are given a great chance to shine in ‘Flux’, the second of the two previously unreleased tracks, which opens with drums and guitars, pulsing out a heavy marching beat like a call to arms. ‘False Messiah’ sees a number of rhythm changes, giving it a more progressive feel, but still undeniably exhibiting the Dead Label sound.
And that brings us nicely to the final track, ‘Dystopian Complex’, which closes out the EP in banging style. Sound wise, this is probably the fullest track on the EP, and the heaviness of the bass sounds really thumps into your head. While not as frenetic as some of the other tracks, this still delivers one heck of a punch.
Production wise, there are occasions where the guitar sits a little too far forward in the mix, and I would like more bass, on a similar level to the final track. But aside from that, this is a superb EP, and I’m looking forward to the album very much.
‘Flux’ (Official Video)
02. Pure Chaos
05. False Messiah
06. Dystopian Complex
Clair Percival – Drums
Danny Hall – Guitar/ Backing Vocals
Danny O’Grady – Vocals/ Bass
Mick Hynes – Guitar
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