In Ways Unforeseen
posted on 5/2009 By:
‘Death metal’ as a tag is rarely sufficient on its own nowadays. The distinction between old school death, brutal death, tech, prog or melodic death usually needs to be made. Holland’s Led Astray really don’t warrant any such sub-classification but that shouldn’t suggest that they’re merely a meat-and-potatoes DM outfit. On the contrary, In Ways Unforeseen is dynamic and sharp in its fusion of brutal and technical death metal with a healthy thrash influence. The band has delivered a tight, hi-octane forty minutes that is thankfully filler-free. Opening salvo “No Second Thoughts” is a strong example of where these gents are at, with its furious tempos and technical prowess butting up against a Mithras-like melodic touch that works a treat. But it’s Led Astray’s thrashiness that gives them their edge, as evidenced by such tracks as “Those Are the Ones” and the truly explosive “Be the Seeker”. Sure, the combination of thrash and death is hardly new, but albums like this really do remind you of just how complimentary the genres are. What’s most pleasing about In Ways Unforeseen is its evenness, with energy levels never waning at any point and every song containing at least one killer riff, groove or drum part. In fact musically, Led Astray have just about all the boxes ticked when it comes to good death metal songwriting and execute this with consistency and aplomb.
The vocals could do with a little work. Melvin Buskermolen has a serviceable growl for the most part but falters on occasion by throwing in lazy, silly ‘rhythmic’ grunts that sound like the bloke’s in dire need of a bowel movement (the worst example appearing on the fittingly-titled “Blocked”). Thankfully this is a minor detraction that doesn’t take away from In Ways Unforeseen being a strong effort overall. The thing to admire about Led Astray at this point is how they’ve whittled away some of the modern-day excesses of the death genre, thereby bringing back into focus the qualities that made it fun and catchy in the first place. Keep it coming fellas.
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