2017’s EP Slaves to the Apocalypse was a solid slab of death metal, and I’m glad to now be hearing their first record. Behind the Scenes is a 34-minute old-school death metal album, one that takes in elements of the US and Swedish styles.
The band’s 90s-influenced material is brutally effective. The songs display a good combination of aggressive speed, crushing heaviness, and macabre atmosphere. Of the latter, I like the sinister melodies that the band frequently work with. These add depth and an otherworldly feeling that layers the music well.
There’s a strongly developed and well-judged mixture of different speeds on Behind the Scenes. Some old-school bands tend to prioritise the slower/mid-paced side of the style in their sound, but Dead Soul Alliance are more energetic than that. The songs are mostly brief and full of vitality, with vigorous passionate performances and songwriting that emphasises power and presence. The band’s obvious enthusiasm for the songs never gets in their way though, and it is clear that a lot of work and effort has gone into this collection of roaring death metal tracks in order to get them just right.
Behind the Scenes delivers what I wanted from Dead Soul Alliance. The band’s promise has been fulfilled, and this is a very enjoyable record. This is old-school death metal that has real teeth. It blasts into your life with vibrant brutality, and peels off riff after riff of highly engaging death dealing. Add to this an emotive, atmospheric side that complements the core heaviness well, and you have a record that any death metal fan should be able to get on board with.
Very highly recommended.