BEHEADED - Never to Dawn
GENRE: Brutal death metal
LABEL: Unique Leader Records
YEAR: November 6th, 2012
REVIEWED BY: PSL
PROVIDED BY: Unique Leader Records
It's been a long wait. Actually it's been so long that I was sure that the Maltese five-piece was history. Never to Dawn, the follow-up to 2005's Ominous Bloodline feels a lot more mature and modern, but not necessarily better. I love the music on Ominous Bloodline. This could be why I find the change in direction on Never to Dawn a bit difficult to digest.
However it gets better and better the more I listen to it. The music reminds me a bit of Hour Of Penance. Not that the two bands sound alike, but the songs on Never to Dawn has little in common with the music on Ominous Bloodline. The music has a modern and updated feel to it nowadays, however there are some traits of Ominous Bloodline in the song-writing, but overall it feels like the music is less inspired by brutal American death metal than it used to be.
That however doesn't change the fact that the song-writing overall is good and the music diverse. Although the music mostly focuses on the fast, the difference between the fast, the brutal and the more moderate is fitting. I like that there is a bit of melody in the music as well. That colorizes the music and provides a counterpart to the more brutal in the songs. There's also a solo or two here and there. It definitely lift the songs an additional step up the ladder.
The vocals go well with the bands change in style. Frank's vocals aren't as low and growling as Melchior Borg. His vocals are rasp and more in the vein of Martin Van Drunen in terms of style. The production is thick and crisp. It fits the music just right and gives it some additional bite.
Never to Dawn is a fine effort. It has most of what you'd expect of the genre, but it's no Ominous Bloodline and I'm not sure if I'm going to like it as much as Ominous Bloodline. However, it's an effort that is hard to avoid if you like brutal, but catchy death metal.