Thursday, January 31, 2013

Lifeless - Godconstruct [2013]

Germans Lifeless are no strangers to the Swedish chainsaw. They're 2008 debut, ''Beyond The Threshold Of Death'' unavoidably formed its aesthetics by sapping the carnal chunk out of classic death metal scriptures like ''War Master'', ''Where No Life Dwells'' and ''Left Hand Path'', a fairly diverse, melodious and cavorting affair that was impervious to originality, and the year 2013 sees to the direct continuation of their ruinous debut, with ''Godconstruct'' strives to discover the exterior and interior boundaries of the genre in equal measure as the debut. In which case, out of 100, you'd probably end up wit a score of 15-10. Fortunately over considerable time, the Germans have earned some savvy techniques which they use to incorporate into their rehashed brand of death rather professionally, even if not completely engagingly; and as result, we're given this inimical, though not highly memorable yarn in the tradition of the early 90's, no doubt restrained into something much more compact than acts that started out in a very similar path to the Germans here, but eventually erupted into mavens that crafted magnificent masterpieces of opaque, resonant death metal bliss.

I'm  not implying that lack of originality degrades quality, because we've obviously been hinted that by simply pursuing derivative paths, bands can be become dangerously addictive (e.g. Tribulation and Repugnant), but even those groups eke out a certain quantity of variation and ambition into bland compositions, and like many pretentious Swedeath worshipers, I see very little ambition in Lifeless. Maybe they're name was actually based on that dogma. But anyways, the scarcity of defiance doesn't beat the Germans into submission, no sir. The atmosphere is here, and so are the riffs; a plummeting torrent of ridiculously heavy (not unlike their contemporaries) chainsaw accumulations, diving straight into blind ears, and I like that the Lifeless usually pummel their audience with a coherent string of melodiously malignant, broiling tremolo barrages, absolutely like the debut, and they'll occasionally brake free of their raucous, grinding abuse and move into more somnolent sequences, which have their own mournful appeal. ''Seething With Rage'' is perhaps the best example to this, even though its name suggests otherwise, and the Germans actually have an extensive reservoir of similar progressions, rendering them somewhat more melodic than their peers. I get that they were endeavoring to build something moodier, but they just couldn't hit all the right notes. (Piano outro - seriously?)

The vocals have a lower-register toning than the debut, with occasional ghastly rasps to reinforce the ambiance on tracks like ''The Truth Concealed'', but his voice hardly deviates from the traditional death metal gutturals. What I found to be interesting, though not half as pleasing here is the number of acoustic passages; there's only a couple, mind you, but they were certainly badly placed. For one, it showcased that the group needed restarts or reposes in between tracks to stabilize their momentum to its previous thrust, and their presence alone is enough to irritate the fervent death metalhead - I certainly didn't like them. Plunging into ''Godconstruct'' by no means reflects that the Germans are just another vacuous group, but they're far to conscientious to be splattering themselves in a bit of ambition, let alone diving into experimental territory. Lifeless are just a staunch quartet seeking to annihilate their avid crowd with storming double-bass poundings and bombastic guitar attacks, and they're hardly into some contemplation - I'm totally cool with that - only, if they ever wish to move out of the circle one day, some ought to remind them they'll need to try harder. Solid sophomore. 

The Truth Concealed
Towards Damnation

Rating: 72,5%

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