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The Rest of Us is Dead - Phoenix

The Rest of Us is Dead
Phoenix
by Louise Brown at 02 July 2019, 1:39 PM

THE REST OF US IS DEAD is a Groove Metal band from Thuringia, Germany that formed in 2014. They have one EP out currently, "Phoenix," which was released in 2018.

 My disclaimer before I go any further: I am a huge fan of both MOTORHEAD and BLACK LABEL SOCIETY. I'm extremely familiar with the styles that both of those bands have as well as the type of people who tend to listen to them. I even ran a BLS fan page for a few years so when I say I am familiar with this type of Metal I mean it. So, I was pretty happy about doing this particular review after I did a bit of research on the band. THE REST OF US IS DEAD looked like a group I'd be very interested in.

"Phoenix" starts out quite well with the track "Every Day Is Like The Last".  It has an extremely heavy sound which is the signature of Groove Metal. The guitar riffs are distorted and loud, more or less slapping you across the face while the bass line and percussion pummel you into further submission. When the vocals start they are rough, a bit off-key and absolutely perfect for the song. This is one of those tracks that I'm sure you'd hear in motorcycle clubhouses and bars pretty much anywhere in the world. Without any doubt one of the best songs on the album, too. The following track, "Metal We Play," is also great. It too features plenty of brutal guitar riffs and hooks as well as more of that intense bass line/percussion combination that works so well on the opening track. The vocals are full of attitude, making it easy to believe that these guys are the type who'd be just as happy kicking your ass as they would be buying you a beer. It's not often that you find musicians who can make it so believable so I'm impressed to say the least. The highlight of the song is a really good guitar solo which always puts a smile on my face.

When "Strange" begins it also sounds great. There is no doubt that this band knows how to play Groove Metal extremely well. I can't find any fault with the music itself at all because it sounds so damned good. But…. the vocals are a problem, and the lyrics are an even bigger problem. The vocals sound too off-key and sort of flat in places, making it hard to get into the flow of the song. It's like walking along the beach, feeling good until you step on a sharp stone, followed by another, then another until you're too distracted to have a nice walk. That is beyond annoying. Then the lyrics issue draws attention to itself. In all truthfulness I am a self-confessed swear word fan; I use those words a lot every day because that's just who I am. But even I have my limits with the word "f*ck." It can be useful, I will be the first to admit that. However, too much is too much. When you hear it pop in a song repeatedly it makes you wonder if the band was trying to make a statement ("We're bad-asses! Hear us swear repeatedly!"), or if they were being lazy. Either way, the excessive use of "f*ck" takes a lot away from the track, making it less effective overall.

The three remaining songs suffer from the same issues. Vocals that don't sound right somehow, even for a genre which embraces off-key styles, and the word "f*ck" seems to appear much too often. It's a shame because the music on all three tracks is fantastic. Of the three I would have to say that "The End So Far" is the best of the bunch. The opening riffs sound like BLACK LABEL SOCIETY during their early years, especially when they combine with the thrashy-sounding drums and an excellent bass line. The vocals are less hectoring, which works with this particular song. They retain their off-key sound and manage to blend far better with the backing music. There are still a few places where the vocals sound odd somehow, but I think that is due to how everything was mixed in production. The more thought I give to the matter, the more I realize that's THE problem with many of the tracks. Perhaps if the mix had been more focused on balancing the combination of sounds rather than putting too much emphasis on the vocals everything would have sounded so much better.

My suggestion is get the album if you are a Groove Metal fan. The music alone makes it a worthwhile purchase. As for the vocals, in all honestly, after a couple of beers they sound a lot better. It's not a perfect solution, but it's better than none at all. Hopefully, the band will get more involved on the production end of things for their next release. I think they do have a lot of potential because they have the right attitude and a lot of conviction.

Siongwriting: 6
Originality: 6
Memorability: 7
Production: 4



3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
  1. Every Day Is Like The Last
  2. Metal We Play
  3. Strange
  4. Taken By The Sun
  5. The End So Far
  6. The Ride

Lineup:
Martin (Deathmaster) -  Vocals
Chris -  Guitars
Mark -  Bass
Ilja -  Drums

Record Label: Independent
     


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