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Deathbale – Guard Yourself

Guard Yourself
by Leanne Evans at 10 September 2021, 2:32 AM

As Viking concept albums go, the gods of Nordic folklore-obsession, AMON AMARTH, are up there as the kingpins of the Viking Death Metal world. Naturally, bands of a similar ilk and thematical alikeness are inspired by the divine Death metallers, but only few will conquer in their plight for Viking greatness and reach metal Valhalla. With decades of helmeted and horned metal enjoyment under our belts, Vikings are invading the metal world once again in the form of DEATHBALE, a quintet of brutal Bavarian berserkers, who deliver a succession of five-tracks of barbarous, yet melodic and passionate, death metal in their debut EP, “Guard Yourself”. Do these barbarians of Viking metal successfully audially raid and pillage in their release? "Skål" they do!

DEATHBALE embark their metaphorical longboat to deliver a “Blood Eagle” assault of violent and precise measure, with opening track “As the Fog is Gone” delivering a deluge of double-kick drums, bloodthirsty blastbeats and striking synchronized guitar swings. Hannes’s insatiable growls and gruffness weave through every intricate, melodic riff, with a pleasing pause for an intense guitar solo midway. You can feel the pummeling and striking of Thor’s hammer pounding through this beast of an opener.

DEATHBALE excel at a seamless crossover into the Black and Power realms, with their masterclass Death skills at the forefront of each track, as perfectly showcased in “Mimir”. Emanating a powerful brooding air, “Mimir” crashes in cymbal-heavy with its gargantuan, thunderous output, piled high with mountainous double-kick drumming and chugged drum fills, merged with strapping bass and effortless synergy with the guitars. DEATHBALE really play up to their strengths with their leads and solos, another blistering piece erupting to gigantic proportion later in the cut, paving the way for a seamless transition into “Asgard will Rise”. Malevolent, forceful and boundless, DEATHBALE serve Draugar-driven sonics, ablaze with warlike dual harmonies and snarling vocals in this slice of fervent brilliance; these sagacious drengrs more than whet your appetite for the deadliest of earsplitting and thumping tracks.

Moving to the last section of “Guard Yourself”, in creeps the pernicious piece “Waves of Numbness”. With its saturating bass-heavy growls and vocal roars, riffs malevolently chugged and drum fills to unsettle, it’s a gripping cut with some fine examples of the dual harmonies we’ve come to love. Counterpointed by the slow-burning rumble of “Behemoth of Hate”, the menacing vibe carries itself with strength and certitude, bursting into a roaring tempo, flavoursome key changes interact perfectly within the riffs, and polished solos continue to fascinate.

“Guard Yourself” is a formidable debut from DEATHBALE, a band who sound like the seed of AMON AMARTH, with the potential to harvest as much guts and glory, and possess as much ambition as the Vikings themselves. One can only hope that the talents of DEATHBALE have the opportunity to surface from the underground and maul the masses with the delights of their skull-cracking sonics; after all, I can see these guys conquering and leaving nothing but battle and blood wherever they go… just as the Vikings once did.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. As the Fog is Gone
2. Mimir
3. Asgard Will Rise
4.Waves of Numbness
5. Behemoth of Hate
Hannes Müller – Vocals
Felix Fischer – Guitars
Phil Carroll – Guitars
Domi Merz – Bass
Eldo Prosch – Drums
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 16 September 2021

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