Featuring an ex-member of Eye of Solitude, this is 37 minutes of progressive death metal that shows just how fertile with ideas and ability this relatively new band are.
As soon as you press play it’s apparent that Wounded Not Dead don’t mess around. There’s no pointless intros or prevarication, just straight into a thick, heavy brutality that’s instantly appealing. Interestingly though, this is only the start of the almost 11-minute opening track, which should hopefully be enough to make the listener stick around and see what the band are capable of.
As the genre tag of progressive death metal implies, this is raging, brutal death metal, but with added progressive enhancements, including exploratory wanderings, softer reflective sojourns, and wider, expansive heaviness. With an Egyptian theme to the songs and also to aspects of the music, (some of the melodies in particular), these tracks are focused and precise, while still allowing for a certain amount of creativity and exploratory behaviour that allows the band to transcend their core aggression, creating emotive soundscapes out of barbarity and savagery.
As the album unfolds it’s clear that Wounded Not Dead are very good at creating heavy music that’s shaded and textured, not restricting itself to anything as simple as standard death metal, and instead embracing its progressive side and taking flight to more rarefied realms. Of course, none of this means that the band aren’t above simply blasting and tearing things up now and again, either.
The album’s recording is strong and clear, and the band make good use of a bold production to lend their songs the strength they need to truly make an impression. I also like that you can hear the bass guitar well, and thus its contribution does not go unnoticed.
Highly enjoyable and very effective. Wounded Not Dead have produced an album to be proud of. Check it out.