The Dead

Ritual Executions

Diabolical Conquest Records 2009

These Australian death metallers are as grim and unfeeling as stone on their second album, Ritual Executions.  Colossal riffs, that border on drone usher in the stoic ode to hopelessness, Burn Your Dead.  Thick guitars and the chiming of funeral bells dominate this burnt landscape of death doom.  Mike Yee's vocals sound like boulders slowly grinding together.  Pounding drums and a more aggressive approach flood your ears with violence on Cannibal Abattoir.  Hints of black metal riffing are buried amongst thicker Boltthrower references.  The lumbering riffs continue you on into Centurion but are obliterated by an explosion of speed on Born In A Grave which alternates between salvos of blast beats and a rockin' groove.  The track later opens up into vast expanses of slow riffs, sparse beats and tidal waves of doom.  Blood Angel seethes with churning and chugging riffs and disharmonic notes that add a touch of madness into this otherwise calculated and unfeeling massacre.  The album closes out on a slightly different note, the repetitive grind rock instrumental Death Metal Suicide which reminds me of Yeah era Xysma, which is a good thing.  As the melodies dance above the meaty riffs below, you are left with a sense of calm levity as the album draws to a close.  Glacially oppressive, doom-laden death metal crushes you beneath is tyrannical weight on Ritual Executions.  The Dead have managed to trod a familiar path but still breath a sense of devastating morbidity into their music.   At times I feel as if I am choking on this albums heaviness.