Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, DEN - 13/3
Out Of Body Experience
Written by: TL on 25/02/2009 13:10:45
While Degradead may come from the side of Sweden that is opposite of the world's melodeath capital Gothenburg, it probably didn't take them very long to decide to drive cross country when they got the chance of recording their sophomore album in collaboration with the entire instrumental section of In Flames. Provided with their experience and having their songs mixed and produced by some of the biggest names in Swedish metal (Jonas Kjellgren and Daniel Bergstrand), the product became the album called "Out Of Body Experience" which was released two days ago via Dockyard 1.
Now Jesper Strömblad has been quoted for saying that Degradead are the future of metal, and while I'm hesitant to back him with such a prophecy, I'll happily go as far as to saying that they're very much the present of metal. Take the most modern movements in metal (melodeath, neo-thras and metalcore) and throw them together and you'll effectively have "Out Of Body Experience", a record which will probably be too clean and crisp to sound like anything but sacrilege to the underground metal purists, but should be a guaranteed good time for everyone else. Degradead don't seem to be here to impress anyone with the weight of their sound nor the depth of their expression, instead they've put out a full dish of ballsy fast paced melodic metal with the intent of making you bang your head intensely enough to cause injury. While there's some synth to trace here and there, the album is very much a guitarist's album, considering the focus on axe wielders Anders and David, who trade riffs and solos with blinding speed and blazing sense of melody throughout the entirety of the 14 tracks on offer. The songwriting also seems to have a good ear for variety, as the expression is always kept dynamic enough to maintain a momentum that will have your head bopping and your feet tapping even on a drowsy morning train-ride. As for vocals, they're mostly carried by frontman Mikael's raspy shriek, which is another thing that fans of the oldschool growl will probably have issues with. Fortunately for both them and anyone with a liking for variety there's also a generous share of more macho roars and Viking-sounding gang choirs to boot, and especially the latter make it easier to distinguish some of the lyrical hooks which are delivered in the choruses.
Overall this should be exactly what most people should want from their metal. Aggression, melody, guitar solos, catchy choruses and all of it delivered without sinking to the depths of bad taste inhabited by say.. Five Finger Death Punch? Still this isn't exactly a deep or very engaging composition, as the lines that catch you on so quickly while listening, are forgotten equally quickly after the record is over, and considering how similar the songs sound, "Out Of Body Experience" aligns more with the ear-candy of All That Remains, than with the intricacy of for instance Trivium's "Shogun". I realize that for some that will actually sound like a good thing, but personally I find that the Degradead's songs need to gain a bit more character before I'll be willing to grade them above:
Download: Wake The Storm, Depths Of Darkness
For The Fans Of: All That Remains, In Flames, Trivium, Five Finger Death Punch
Release Date: 23.02.2009