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Undeath – Lesions Of A Different King Award winner

Lesions Of A Different King
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 30 November 2020, 6:34 AM

New York's UNDEATH is a throat ripping, gut stomping, soul eviscerating death metal band. Across the ten tracks of their full length debut, "Lesions of a Different Kind" and its thirty seven minute runtime, there isn't any symphonics, progressive structures or beautiful clean passages to be found.     Much like those who came before them, there is no room for anything other than no frills, balls to the wall death fucking metal. You could argue that their sound has been done before. You could point out that doing it old school has now become the new school as so many bands are doing it now. And you would be right.

But you know what makes all that irrelevant? The fact that UNDEATH do it with almost unrivaled conviction. They have viciously zeroed in on how to do old school death metal the right way. "Lesions of a Different Kind" is such a laser focused album that it should come with blood-borne pathogen kit because this album will leave you in bloody little pieces.  It's so riff oriented too. You get a riff! He gets a riff! She gets a riff! Everybody gets a riiiiiiiiiiiff!  What impresses me most is how well the song writing works with the guitars. As expected, these songs are short and to the point but they aren't repetitious. Every badass riff You here is gone before you know it, only to be replaced by another riffs that is somehow even more scathing. The bass slaps pretty hard too which is exactly what you want for this style. It pops in and out of the riffs, bringing its own brand of devastation.

The drums are a barrage of oncoming death, as expected, but they also compliment the songs in ways that mist extreme metal bands ignore. And those guitar solos! Wow! They are built so well into the songs and always seem to be just the right length and actually sound meaningful rather than random noises. "Suitably Hacked To Gore" explodes instantly with the entire band giving it there all within just seconds. Around the 52 second make this random guitar wail comes out of no where—it gives the song a primal, dangerous feel to it. The guitar solos continue to shine, peppered in between battering rams of riffs and drums.

The title track "Lesions of a Different Kind" begins with a flurry of drums that launch the rest of the song. The riffs give me trepidation and, rhythm wise, sound like the rolling waves of the ocean as a storm batters the water. The bass hammers in the song and makes the perfect spring board for those insane vocals. One of my favorite songs is "Lord of the Grave," because its just one big immovable wall of death metal. The drums go a long way into bringing the song to new heights, especially those cymbal crashes that come down with each riffs. The middle portion has to be one of the heaviest moments of death metal this year.

"Kicked In The Protruding Guts" is an outrageous song title but that is fine because the song is also outrageous. It is one part drums tearing holes into another dimension and another part groovy as hell. Its also a perfect example of how you can change things up without being prog or long winded. Death metal exists with this natural energy….and UNDEATH harness and steer it well.
The final track , "Archfiend Coercion Methods," is a beastly track that uses sudden bursts of speed to knock you down…then sink you further into the abyss with some huge, slow jams. The songs mid portion feels so organic in how it goes from full speed, to mid pace, and finally a slow groove rumble. It is enough to make even the most disconcerting listener head bang like its 1989.
UNDEATH's "Lesions of a Different Kind" is one hell of a late year surprise. I though I had all my top 10 DM albums down pat but this just tore it apart. I've no doubt I’m not the only reviewer that is having the same problem right now.  If you are fan of death metal, then you need to get on this.

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

4 Star Rating

1. Suitably Hacked To Gore
2. Shackles of Sanity
3. Lesions Of A Different Kind
4. Entranced by the Pendulum
5. Acidic Twilight Visions
6. Lord of the Grave
7. Kicked in the Protruding Guts
8. Phantasmal Festering
9. Chained to a Reeking Rotted Body
10. Archfiend Coercion Methods
Matt Browning – Drums
Kyle Beam – Guitars
Alexander Jones – Vocals
Record Label: Prosthetic Records


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