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Holy Death – Separate Mind from Flesh

Holy Death
Separate Mind from Flesh
by Tommy Mulhern at 26 January 2022, 10:19 AM

When I saw the name of this promo I was inspired to go on Google and I found a site that tells the more interesting religious deaths down the centuries. There’s the case of the Roman consul Valerian beheading Pope Sixtus II in front of his congregation in 258AD. Another Pope, John X was killed by the mistress of his predecessor. A St Margaret Clitherow was pressed to death, if you can imagine such a thing, and a St Bartholemew was skinned alive. Then there’s the very recent case of Jacque Hamel who had a recurring dream that he would die soon before he was set upon while serving mass. All very interesting holy deaths for sure, just a pity I cant say as much for this band of the same name.

Formed in Los Angeles around 2019, HOLY DEATH have released a few EPs and singles and a compilation of these so they had a lot of opportunity to set the scene for their debut album. They call themselves a death-doom band in the style of CROWBAR or GRIEF and it would be hard to argue with that comparison because they definitely have the pace and repetitive nature of those two nailed down. Only problem is they don’t have the character or ideas that the progenitors of that genre had in the nineties that let them grind out a song and keep it engaging. Grant it they do keep their tracks short on this album, whereas they have indulged in longer songs before, and this makes the listen a bit easier. Another plus is the amazing production, so clear and precise and the guitar sound is pure heaven. Also when they change style, like in the middle of the title track or on the instrumental "In Tongues" they remind me of JUNIUS and that gives me some hope that this side of their music could be in the majority on future recordings. But these are small highlights on a otherwise bland album.

I’d never be expecting virtuoso playing on a sludge doom record but I don’t think the riffs had to be so simplistic. And the constant use of feedback and monotonous tempo made it a boring listen. Don’t get me wrong, I like doom metal and sometimes the simpler and slower the better but this album just failed to grab my attention at all besides the bits I mentioned earlier. This is definitely a genre that requires a form of uniqueness and cleverness to avoid ennui that HOLY DEATH don’t have, yet.

Songwriting: 4
Musicianship: 4
Memorability: 4
Production: 8

2 Star Rating

1. Gates Ov Heaven
2. Nailbat
3. Sacrifice Like Lambs
4. A Meditation Of Wrath
5. Burning Palms
6. Shame
7. In Tongues
8. Separate Mind From Flesh
Torie – Vocals, guitar
Aspen – Bass
Stephen – Drums
Record Label: Seeing Red Records


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Edited 04 February 2023

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