posted on 2/2006 By:
You gotta love Deathchain’s straightforwardness.
“Mr. Deathchain, what can we expect from your new album, Deathrash Assault?”
“Um, okay, how would you describe Deathchain’s sound?”
“I see. What can fans expect from your live show?”
One usually has to look to the porn industry to find such examples of no frills truth in titling, although there was of course the long ago promise from spandexed Germans to rock you, you know, as if by a hurricane. Deathchain’s monstrous full-length debut made a hell of a splash around MetalReview, and it goes without saying that fans would be disappointed with anything other than a deathrash assault. But while the new album delivers on its explicit promise, it’s also a step behind its denim n’ leather clad speed freak predecessor, Deadmeat Disciples.
At the risk of sounding like one of those fuckwits that extols every band’s earliest work while lamenting how the new material is devoid of passion and originality, it has to be said that Deathrash Assault, while still quality death thrash metal, can’t quite clear the bar set by Deathchain’s first album. Part of what made Deadmeat Disciples such an attention demanding behemoth was its absolutely uncompromising, high-speed battery. The album literally felt like it could jump the rails at any time. The band, for all practical purposes, had two speeds: fast and stop, only rarely slowing to a brief powerful chug to coil in menacing ascent, before striking again. Deathchain usually keeps the pace high this time around as well, but they’ve upped the thrash quotient of their sound and have added more frequent mid-tempo melodic sections. I’ve read several reviews of the new album that claim that this tempo variety and refinement have made Deathrash Assault a better album than Deadmeat Disciples, but complaining that Deathchain played too consistently fast is like criticizing tits for being too round.
Everything you loved about Deadmeat Disciples is back. Deathchain mixes thrash and death metal together in an unusually productive formula, and even though the first album is superior, the band clearly still has a leather-booted leg up on its peers. Kassara beats his drums like a maniac, and his rapid fire pummeling and generous fills give the album loads of energy. The guitar duo of Corpse and Bobby Undertaker fire off strings of interesting riffs that offer technicality while remaining entirely visceral. Rotten again turns in an overall good vocal performance, but in a few places his growl contains too much shrillness. Kuolio holds down the low end, but unfortunately, his bass work gets shortchanged in the mix. There are plenty of songs that follow in the same neck punishing vein as the first album, while several others slow occasionally to mid-tempo thrashy melodies. These parts are nearly always well done, but the change this time around that works best is seen on “Panzer Holocaust”, where the band settles into a consistent tempo of mid-paced ghoulishness. The verse is just fine, but the face peeling chorus is what really seals the deal. Equaled only by their disdain for subtlety is their reverence for metal, and the band pays tribute to metal’s past with “Deathrash Legions”, which offers lyrics made almost entirely from titles and lyrics of metal classics. Some complaints aside, Deathrash Assault is a damn respectable sophomore effort. Deathchain deserves the attention of all fans of death thrash, and this album should thicken the ranks of their deathrash legion. Now if we can get them to come to the US...
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