Undead – Blood Enemy


This one arrived in the mail some time ago. Apparently, it got held up in US Customs because our address is on the terrorist watch list. Looking beneath the skin, which is tasty gore-dripping old school death metal, this 7″ EP in fact owes its origins to the speed/death crossover bands of the late 1980s, sounding like a cross between Merciless and Sadistic Intent with Swedish death metal style elegant riffs concluding each song.

Percussion is straight off an early Merciless album, and keeps up energy without wasting time on much adornment except for some strikingly savage fills. Guitar riffs follow the glorious 1980s speed/death metal model of aggressive rhythms applied to small interval note clusters for the verses, and then more elegant chromatic phrases seeded with melodic intervals for the choruses. Like the 1980s classics, these songs do not vary much from the verse chorus format and mainly aim to keep energy high, so the subtler complexity of the choruses catches the physical sensation of verses, and then a transitional riff leads to a place of synthesis for both.

Blood Enemy consists of two tracks, “Evil Spirits” and “Blood Enemy,” which you can listen to here, and ends way too quickly. It will be interesting to see what this band does with a longer album, and whether its tendencies extend into the more complex world of later death metal, which will give these musicians — more confident by that time — a greater palette with which to create.

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10 thoughts on “Undead – Blood Enemy

  1. Billy Foss says:

    There was a time when this was the only type of thing I’d listen to because I was under the impression that the majority of death metal sounded like Cannibal Corpse and Mortician. This is great though.

    1. C.M. says:

      Indeed, I’ll be watching for more music from these guys.

      You might also check out Ripper’s two recent full-lengths, as they are a similar modern fusion of death and speed metal that aren’t retro or gimmicky.

      1. Billy Foss says:

        I find the merciless speed at which this type of music is played to be humbling at times, in fact when listening to it at length, it can become quite taxing. Where some would dismiss it as boring, I think that speaks volumes about it’s inherent ability to convey the ceaseless passage of time and humanity’s utter impotence in an indifferent universe. Think of Lovecraft’s cosmicism. Ripper is a perfect example of this. I should have bought Experiment of Existence when I first heard it a while back, I love the bass on that album.

        1. C.M. says:

          Yes I know what you mean. Interestingly the same thought occurred to me when I first started checking out doom bands (Cathedral particularly) and was impressed by how they convey the inevitability of time’s passage and the ever-creeping sureness of death.

          And yes Ripper’s bassist is a lunatic, in fact I think they gave him a track on Experiment of Existence (which is still available on their bandcamp, btw) to just play a solo, Manowar style!

          1. Billy Foss says:

            I don’t listen to any doom metal regularly, but from what I’ve heard, it tends to be adept at expressing a definitive sense of finality through it’s trudging pace and predictability. As many have said before, you can often tell which notes are to be played next. That may be why it seems stagnant to some, but in this case it certainly fits our themes of mortality and cosmic indifference. Perhaps it was too broad a comparison to make as these are ideas that metal as a whole engages with, but the characteristics of doom metal do fit better than those of speed metal.

            1. C.M. says:

              I think I still understand what you are talking about. To me speed and even some death metal sounds like death as it happens in war, with constant commotion and confusion and panic preceding a sudden and brutal end. Meanwhile doom metal is the sense of standing in line for a guillotine execution, hearing the rhythmic chopping that kills off everyone in front of you. Both are still death-centric but they present the concept from different angles.

              And I really don’t listen to doom either, generally. The only doom CD I own is Forest of Equilibrium. Lots of other “doom”-oriented stuff is just lethargic stoner rock.

              1. Butt Porridge says:

                Check out Skepticism – Alloy if you haven’t already.

              2. Billy Foss says:

                That’s essentially what I’m talking about. The different techniques a genre employs in order to convey an artistic theme, and how those techniques evoke the imagination and form a sort of aural impression, whether that be a certain feeling or a literal mental image. I know very little about music theory, so that’s what I tend to do when listening to something. Or I read over the lyrics trying to determine the intention of the artist’s expression by looking for any sort of philosophical or historical context.

                I was going to mention Autopsy and Asphyx before. I’ve been listening to The Rack pretty consistently for the past few weeks, but do they really count? Anyway, that’s as close as it gets for me. I tried to listen to that Winter album once expecting to experience my own death, but I just got tired and took a nap.

  2. Belisario says:

    Is this perhaps a South-American band? Sounds a lot so.

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