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Undergang – Aldrig I Livet

Undergang
Aldrig I Livet
by Santiago Puyol at 06 December 2020, 8:06 PM

Danish Death Metallers UNDERGANG have released "Aldrig I Livet", their fifth full-length, follow-up to 2017’s "Misantropologi". The band stayed active in between, releasing split records, EPs and a live album. Here they come back with a ten-track, thirty-six minute offer, delivering their blend of old school Death Metal and Sludgy Doom sounds.

Low-tuned guitar or bass open "Præfluidum", quickly moving into a mid-tempo, off-kilter Death Metal wall of noise. Disorienting and nausea-inducing, growls and other guttural vocal noises by D. Torturdød move in waves atop dazzling riffs and punchy drums. It goes straight into "Spontan Bakteriel", as if they were actually two parts of the same song.

"Indtørret" is a bit of a banger, with a thrashy rhythm and more straightforward riff building, at least until it goes down a Sludgy, Doomy spiral of overcompressed vocals and Psychedelic, dissonant soloing atop a steady beat. It is a gorgeous mess, almost jazzy at times. "Menneskeæder" follows with the catchiest riffs on the record. Thundering Death Metal that once again harkens to the thrashy roots of the genre. The way it keeps ramping up the tempo and shifting rhythmically makes headbanging a bit of a complex issue, even if the band never takes a Prog or Math detour.

The melodic intro of "Ufrivillig Donation Af Vitale Organer" provides a few seconds of respite from the previous track tour de force, before growls, frantic drumming and distortion come in full force. D. Torturdød sounds fully unhinged at times, as if a demonic figure took over his body or he simply turned into some kind of animalistic monster.

"Sygelige Nydelser (Del 3) Emetofili" takes the nastiness and disgust to new levels, at least on the record. You can almost listen to Torturdød spitting blood and viscera on this track. A couple of doomy passages as well as some skilled tapping make the track slightly more dynamic than what the first minute or so might imply. Meanwhile, "Usømmelig Omgang Med Lig" sees the band letting loose a bit and fooling around with their instruments, a bit more jammy for a straightforward brutal Death Metal track.

The three longer tracks of the record are stuck together at the end, making for a bit of an epic finale. The title track is more of a mood-setter. Experimental, crowded with sound effects and building to a climax that never truly explodes, it is a slower paced track that prepares to the last two tracks in a way. It ebbs and flows, in a Sludgy, Psychedelic manner.

"Rødt Dødt Kød" fakes its start with a soft yet sinister pseudo-reprise of the title track’s main riff, before bursting into mayhem. Being the longest track it is also the most dynamic, going from brooding, dirge-like Doom sections (clean and distorted guitars alternating to build tension) and fast-paced thundering Death Metal. Martin Leth Andersen’s bass plays a crucial role in adding depth, while A. Dødshjælp gets to show-off behind the drum-kit with some of the jazziest and more complex playing on the album.

Closer "Man Binder Ikke Et Dødt Menneske" puts the finishing touch with almost five minutes of straightforward, Thrashy old school Death Metal. Another tour de force that ends the album in a high note. After a couple of experimental, moody tracks, it fits its place comfortably being a bit more traditional.

"Aldrig I Livet" is a fun record whose main issue has to be that it is over before it begins, but at the same time it does not allow for any missteps or filler, delivering a selection of good and great tunes, even a couple of excellent like "Indtørret" or "Rødt Dødt Kød". Production could be better, but that comes with Extreme Metal territory, especially when Sludge and Doom get in the mix. I’m usually bothered by Death Metal vocals, particularly the style that D. Torturdød uses here, but something about the mixing and the delivery makes it work for me. Overall, this is a solid addition to any fan of Sludgy Death-Doom collection out there.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 6
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Præfluidum
2. Spontan Bakteriel
3. Indtørret
4. Menneskeæder
5. Ufrivillig Donation Af Vitale Organer
6. Sygelige Nydelser (Del 3) Emetofili
7. Usømmelig Omgang Med Lig
8. Aldrig I Livet
9. Rødt Dødt Kød
10. Man Binder Ikke Et Dødt Menneske
Lineup:
A. Dødshjælp – Drums
D. Torturdød – Vocals / Guitars
Mads Haarløv – Guitars / Backing vocals
Martin Leth Andersen – Bass
Record Label: Dark Descent Records / Me Saco Un Ojo
     


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