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New World Depression – Descent

New World Depression
Descent
by Brian Lowrie at 16 November 2020, 4:19 PM

When a band takes more than 3 years to release a record (yet manages to stay on the radar by performing at festivals, etc), it’s usually either the best record they’ve ever released, or the album arrives to a mostly disinterested fan base (insert quip about Necrophagist here). Now, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, a good portion of the world still has to put concerts on the back-burner, forcing a lot of bands to grind out new albums in hopes that one day, live performances can be a thing again. New World Depression is a self-proclaimed “Death-n-Roll” band that hasn’t released a record since 2015, yet has remained a staple in the German music scene. The band’s newest record “Descent” proves that patience is indeed a virtue, as this album becomes one of the best New-Old-School death metal albums released this year.

For those unfamiliar with New World Depression, I like to think of their sound “like Obituary, but with a far less annoying vocalist”. The album’s opener, “Ceremony of Delusion”, fittingly starts with a sample of four rings of a distant church bell, then just throws you right into all the fixing of classic death metal. Instrumentally, this track reminds me of something that would be from “Human”-era Death. “Scoff Till Death” starts in a similar fashion, but is a little more straight forward in its groove, preferring mid-paced guitar riffs to the previous tracks busier musicianship. Starting with a drum-and-bass riff, “Working With Flesh” has a bit more noticeable angst to it, relying more on hardcore-esque power chord riffs than the other songs so far, and doesn’t really care too much to deviate from that style. “Panzer”, my favorite track from the album, reminds me of the Just Before Dawn album “An Army At Dawn” (which was also released this year), and tries to balance the traditional death metal styling with more distant lead guitar work towards the end. “Nasha” makes itself clear from the get-go, as it opens with a chant of the song title, only to become one of the consistently faster tracks on the album. The “breakdown” (using the term lightly, but the riff starting at 1:26) makes for one of the tastier grooves on the record. “Descent To Hell”, on the other hand, aims for a comparatively bleak approach to the band’s catalogue, making this one of the more interesting songs on this album. The attempt to counterbalance the token groove riff, with more drawn out passages really works in this song’s favor.

 “Pervetin” is another track heavily influenced by World War II, this time including more war-themed audio samples, but doesn’t have much to offer as far as versatility for the band. The same could be said for “Ritual”, which offers a more dynamic opening, but doesn’t really branch out from a verse-chorus structure, let alone from the usual note progression’s we’ve heard so far. “Devil’s Slavery” can be considered one of the more brutal tracks, giving itself away from the first four counts, exhibiting more tremolo-picked riffs and differentiating rhythms, this track more than makes up for “Pervetin”. “Hate.Kill.Repeat”, being the last track, has a higher bar to clear than the other songs do. However, I can’t help but feel like this would be more apt as an introductory track to the album rather than the closer, as it alternates between building and releasing tension for the entire track.

After all is said and done, this is a pretty damn good album if you’re into older-school death metal. However, I can’t help but feel like a broken record this year with albums of this genre, where there were some really awesome ideas that I’m a little bummed weren’t explored upon. The guitar leads specifically were one of these ideas that weren’t given nearly enough attention, and the band seemed to be at their strongest, in my opinion, when trying to emphasize darker and slower melodies.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 6.5
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Ceremony of Delusion
2. Scoff till Death
3. Working With Flesh
4. Panzer
5. Nasha
6. Descent To Hell
7. Pervetin
8. Ritual
9. Devil’s Slavery
10. Hate.Kill.Repeat
Lineup:
Hütte – Vocals
Trasher – Bass
Sig – Drums
John Klingel – Guitars
Julian Schulz – Guitars
Record Label: Fucking Kill Records
     


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