Death metal can be ‘samey’ at times. Some bands get it, some don’t, and some bands grow into their role.
Death Collector, however, need not be concerned with such matters. They know what they’re good at, and Christ above, they’re good at it!
The opening track of ‘Death’s Toll’ is enough to confirm this, but with another eight tracks still to go, you wonder if there is enough gravity left to keep them on the ground. THEY ARE SO HEAVY!! Kieran Scott (formerly of Ashen Crown) grabs the mic and eviscerates at will, with an intimidating ferocity that rivals any Florida death metal frontman (looking at you Glen Benton).
Drummer, Andy Whale (ex-Bolt Thrower, ex-Darkened, ex-Memoriam) keeps the pace without missing a single stroke of time. His double bass assault just fits so perfectly with the riffs in every song in this album; it is clear that this is a band that has been put together with the right bunch of guys.
Mick Carey (from Limerick’s own Zealot Cult) fans the flames of brutality with some of the sickest riffs I’ve ever heard, and the last of the four Heralds of the Apocalypse is Lee Cummings on bass (from Severe Lacerations).
‘Mental Hedonist’, the eponymic ‘Death Collector’, and ‘Coarse Visions’ follow the carnage from the opening number, and they are just nuts. Whale and Scott are the stars of this trinity of destruction, possessing a raw and feral attitude that makes this band stand shoulder-to-shoulder with giants. Carey’s fretwork is mesmerising… if not scholarly. There are no big mad shredding solos, no dazzling tapping or anything like that; it’s fretwork: down-tuned, dirty, and laser-guided in precision.
Cummings has his work cut out for him on bass to keep up with this pace, but it gets done as easily as carving a cake. ‘Terrorizer’ is a bit faster but no less brutal. The pace is unremitting and on par with the theme of the whole album. ‘Internal Expansion’ is the opposite of the previous number, though. Slow and drudgy, the music does the talking here. Scott’s lyrics are still ruthless, and still fit like a perfectly-cut jigsaw.
The extreme-named ‘Revel in the Gore’ is pit-worthy at any festival, venue, or child’s birthday party, jumping between breakdowns that cut you in two, and melody sections that seem to carry you away in a head-banging frenzy.
The final track ‘Rearview Guilt’ lets the brutality avalanche fall freely, as Scott speaks of dying innocence, long-standing suffering and deliverance. Carey, Whale and Cummings all chime in and allow their monsters out of their respective cages and give them some runaround time in the park for about five and a half minutes. Carey’s harmonies, coupled with dive-bombs from his guitar, just catapults the feeling of freedom straight into the listener’s ears seconds before the *crushing* outro of the end track, and with that, a dead stop signals the end of the trip.
This album is like a breath of fresh air. The production is outstanding, and each band member goes above and beyond to deliver an album that deserves pride of place in every metalhead’s collection.
I have yet to see them live, but that’ll change the first chance I get. This is an outstanding debut album, and has made it onto my list of top albums for this year. I look forward to the next one.
Any chance of an Irish tour lads? 5/5
‘Deaths Toll‘ is out now and can be purchased here.
Track of Choice: Every goddamn song on the record.