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Dead Season - Prophecies Award winner

Dead Season
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 11 April 2018, 7:42 AM

Hailing from France and formed in 2000, Dark Progressive Metal quintet DEAD SEASON present their second full-length album titled “Prophecies,” which has been mixed and mastered by Jaime Gomez Allerano (GHOST, PARADISE LOST, PRIMORDIAL) at Orgone Studio. The album contains twelve new tracks.

“The New Man” leads off the album, with a heavy sound and a flurry of guitars. The riffage then turns dark as the Death vocals enter the fray. The mood is mostly somber, even with the clean vocal harmonies in the chorus. The sound shifts several times throughout the relatively short track, showcasing some dexterous musicianship and a flair for the dramatic. “Blood Links Alienation” is a bit longer. The sound here is deep and aggressive. The clean vocals hold an element of mystery to the song, which moves with a fast pace and some rhythmic accents along the way. The Death vocals just push the envelope further. As I am still trying to put my finger on what the band sounds like, I acquiesce and just enjoy the music.

“Prohibition of God” has a majestic sound from a mid-tempo pace and commanding vocal harmonies that beckon. The sun is slowly eclipsed when the Death vocals come in, covering the scene in shadows. The darkness spreads like a sickness that touches everyone. “Homogenetic” sounds like a fateful march to a gas chamber. The walls close in around you and you know the end is nigh. Some dissonant lead guitars and furious drumming mix in here and there and it takes various routes throughout, never set to rest on a single sound. The musicianship is absolutely fantastic. “The Four Minutes of Hate” is about what you would expect from the title. As Sanson thwacks away on the bass with skill, the guitars create a chaotic effect that is echoed in the drums. You can hear anger and rage building up as the song moves along. A melancholy piano passage cuts against some of the hate for a spell and it rolls full steam to completion.

“Endless War” opens with ominous acoustical guitar notes and a multitude of voices speaking in the background, complete with sirens. You have the feeling that something wicked this way comes. Sure enough, it soon comes hard and complete. The Death vocals lead a charge of guitar, bass and drums with confidence and willfulness. The whole of the beast steamrolls everything in its path, like a hydrogen bomb laying waste to a city. “Sexual Binging” is still quite heavy, and there are some suspenseful and even psychedelic elements that keep it unique. The reeling lead guitar work sounds like a train veering off the tracks…and it bears down on you profoundly at the end. “The Dissident” closes the album, in two parts. Both are about equal in running length. The first part features a weighted and groovy rhythm with some dark breakdowns, glittering, spastic lead breaks, and deftly played bass guitar notes. The second part opens with some punchy rhythms and earnest riffing. It moves adeptly between a few different passages and ends on a magnanimous note.

Barbarous and vile at times, while free flowing and more pensive at others, this album had so much depth that it required a few listens to catch all of the layers and wonderful nuances. Calling it “dark” Progressive Metal is a good start, but doesn’t really capture the expansiveness of the stygian sound that runs through the entire album. There are dazzling displays of musicianship, and sophisticated structure and crafting that comes only from experienced songwriters and performers.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. The New Man
2. Blood Links Alienation
3. Prohibition of God
4. Homogenetic
5. Guidestones
6. The Four Minutes of Hate
7. Endless War
8. Mind Entertainment
9. Sexual Binging
10. Ministry of Truth
11. The Dissident – Part One
12. The Dissident – Part Two
Guillaume Singer – Guitars
Nicolas Sanson – Bass
Julien Jacquemond – Vocals
Grégoire Galichet – Drums
Eerik Maurage – Guitars
Record Label: Independent


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