I feel really blessed at the moment musically having accidentally stumbled upon a small handful of bands that I really enjoy and the latest on that list (and keeping with my current Scandinavian metal addiction) are Degradead. Degradead came recommended via Xbox Music as being similar to recent purchases and after spending the first 10 minutes trying to decide on how to pronounce their name, I decided to have a listen to their most recent offering, The Monster Within.
Degradead are officially a death metal/melodic death metal band hailing from Sweden. The Monster Within was released in August, 2013 on Metalville Records, clocks in at 40 minutes playing time and has 10 tracks on it.
The first track, One Against All, starts aggressively with fast paced drumming and riffs with raspy death metal vocals before hitting more melodic choruses with clean vocals. Pretty typical fare for the melodic death metal genre but done to a high standard. The title track follows next and again keeps the pace up with the raspy vocals hitting more ranges, some nice guitar solos but a peculiar slow down near the end which is almost spoken word for a few seconds and sounds out of place. The song redeems itself though by upping the intensity to mosh pit standards for the final 30 secs. For Better Or Worse is one of the real highlights of the album being more rhythmic then the first two tracks which gives it a gloomier feel. The vocals again move up and down through many different ranges and are a real highlight of the track and the album altogether. Dead Becomes Alive starts with a little guitar picking intro and very fast and heavy vocals and drumming. The song is laden with breakdowns and even has an almost Flamenco guitar sound in the solo, ending with a real aggressive sound coupled with screams. We’ll Meet Again comes next and took me by surprise as it is a 7 minute long ballad which I wasn’t expecting, at least not so early in an album but it works and is a really nice, really well put together song showing Degradead have talent that reaches beyond the confinement of their genre. Again the vocals really impress, especially near the end of the track, when the tempo raises a little.
Track 6, The Dark Mind, follows a similar structure to melodic death metal in raspy verses, slightly more melodic choruses and blast beats and while not standing out massively from the crowd, is a well written and executed track. Strive To Struggle starts with real pace and a deep bassy sound before guitars join in and then the heavy vocals. A great intro built up in layers but eventually just turning into a well-executed album filler. Scars Of Misery is the 8th track on the album and is a work of art. It turns the typical song structure on its heads and goes for clean vocals on the verses with heavy and clean mixed choruses but the pace doesn’t let up even in the clean sections. I can’t praise this song enough – it is fantastic. Tendency To Sin is next and is a slower tempo and darker sounding verses with clean choruses and is again, a good example of the genre without being truly outstanding. The final track, Sorrow Never Betrays, is another really good track that stands out from the crowd. It has really thrashy pace throughout and again mixes the vocal ranges up, has a very Scandinavian sounding guitar solo that wouldn’t be out of place on a folk or battle metal album and ends the album on a heavy and high note.
The Monster Within is a really solid album that has 4 or 5 stand out tracks, one of which I am blown away by, and 5 or 6 very decent tracks. If you are a Degradead fan, you will be pleased. If you are a fan of the genre, it is well worth adding to your catalogue. If you like metal, you could do a lot worse then giving these guys a try.
Degradead – The Monster Within (Metalville Records)