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Deadhead - Kill Division (Reissue)

Kill Division (Reissue)
by Kevin Lewis at 19 October 2020, 1:51 PM

DEAD HEAD is a Thrash band formed in the Netherlands in 1989. “Kill Division” is a re-release of what is considered one of their classic records from 1999. Twenty-one years later, the record ties in with a retrospective release and is a prelude to a planned album in 2021. This is a two-disc record with a total of 21 songs on it, though eight of them are demo version of songs on the album. This re-issue will come out October 30, 2020 via Petrichor Records

This is fairly early thrash from listening to it. Fast, heavy, pounding rhythms with blast beat style drums and chugging bass. The vocals are harsh and hard to understand with the assistance of a lyric sheet, but that is to be expected. There are two covers on this record, one on the main disc and one on the bonus disc with the demo versions of the main disc songs. It’s interesting that one choice is SLAYER, a Thrash Metal legend and the other is SAXON, a mainstay in the NWOBHM.

To be honest, I found their version of SAXON’s “Heavy Metal Thunder” to be barely recognizable and hard to swallow. On the other hand, “Die By The Sword” from SLAYER is pretty spot-on and sounds pretty good. Song choice is important.

The songs on this record are fast and brutal. “Kill Division” starts with a punishing riff that is definitely hardcore. The drums are high-speed and sync well with the bass. The guitars solo feels a little forced into the time slot though. The timing seems a little off on some segments of these songs. “Cold Being” also has a couple of spots like that.

This sounds like a first record to me, not the third album after ten years in the business. Their bio states this record suffered from a lack of publicity and distribution. The re-master may have cleaned up the production a little, but it still sounds rough. The demos are, which I expect to sound out of sync, are instead only more out of sync. Overall, this is a fairly unremarkable album. I think this would have been better served being re-recorded, not just re-mastered. It has some good music and cool riffs, but needs to be updated, not just dusted off.

Songwriting:  6
Musicianship:  7
Memorability:  5
Production:  5

3 Star Rating

1. Kill Division
2. Cold Being
3. Waste Of Skin
4. Six
5. Mahler
6. Sprayed Into Oblivion
7. Wings On Fire
8. Where Silence Dwells
9. The Hustler
10. Until The Sun Appears
11. Souls Of Ice
12. Heavy Metal Thunder (Saxon cover)
1. Wings On Fire (Demo)
2. Until The Sun Appears (Demo)
3. Mahler (Demo)
4. The Hustler (Demo)
5. Cold Being (Demo)
6. Souls Of Ice (Demo)
7. Six (Demo)
8. Kill Division (Demo)
9. Die By The Sword (Slayer cover)
Tom van Dijk – Bass/Vocals
Hans Spijker – Drums
Ronnie van der Wey – Guitar
Robbie Woning – Guitar
Record Label: Petrichor Records


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Edited 03 December 2020

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