Release DetailsLABEL Pluto Records
RELEASED ON 5/22/2007
The Dead See
Through The Veil
posted on 7/2007 By:
Keeping with the schizophrenic nature of choosing random albums to review, every time I’ve finished listening to The Dead See’s Through The Veil, I’m left feeling a little numb, and somewhat uncertain. The numbness comes from the lumbering landslide this Lubbock, Texas quartet packs into these 40 or so minutes, which results in a disc that feels a lot longer than what it actually is. In a way, this can be viewed as a positive statement regarding the heft of their material, but not only does Through The Veil bowl over eardrums with momentous riffs, there’s quite a bit of subtle intricacy among the rolling thunder which never quite reaches supercell intensity. The uncertainty comes from the bizarre after effect of being subjected to such a concentrated, yet fully-formed avalanche of sound, and wanting to immediately repeat it.
This is one of those moments where I have to take a step back and work harder at figuring out the angle these guys are coming from. The apparent straightforwardness of tunes such as “Kingdom Of Shit” and “Treacher Collins” is deceiving, as more focused listens will reveal shifts in notes during repetitive sections that aren’t crystal clear during a casual spin. It would be as easy as laying in a hammock to compare these guys to Neurosis (Times Of Grace-era more than anything), because I can hear some during “Sons Of Silence” and “Mary Kelly”, and I hear bare strains of Today Is The Day’s In The Eyes Of God, and Mastodon’s Remission (with a little Rwake here and there), but again those are easy comparisons. Mark Key’s vocals are harsh as all hell, bringing to mind Luc Lemay at times, taking their sound very close to slower death metal on more than one occasion, but despite all the name dropping, The Dead See definitely have their own take on this kind of sludgy metal, and they perform it very well.
Things never really do speed up too much, so the band is content to pummel and stomp along at a fairly midpaced lurch, allowing the sheer weight of the riffs and the tinges of weird atmospherics to keep things interesting and moving along smoothly. The production brings out just enough low end to make the floor shake, but doesn’t overpower with too thick of a sound, with the drums in particular being highlighted and complemented by such a solid mix. Most of these songs also have a rather conservative running length, preferring to jump in and only stay around for about three to four minutes each, with the exception of 6+minute "Memento Mori", but by the time it’s over, I still feel pretty beaten up.
Perhaps a little bit of variety would have helped a few of the tracks to stand apart from each other since there really is no letup from their mammoth, unrushed stride, but with music such as this being so well-written, complaining about variety is just looking for something to bitch about. For being such a sonically dense album, Through The Veil is surprisingly easy to go back and revisit numerous times for further abuse and still not be overwhelmed nor quickly bored with it. You might not find anything too revolutionary here, but The Dead See will give you something to think about through every minute of this disc without frying your brain, or pushing your tolerance levels too far.
Register to post comments.