[1st March 2013]
01. Praeludium Endzeit
03. Towards Damnation
05. Blood for the Gods
06. The Truth Concealed
07. Interludium Zeitenwende
08. Seething with Rage
09. Sworn to Death
10. Reconquering the Soul
12. Perdition of the Whore
Over the course of years as a writer about metal, The Baboon has come to believe certain patterns exist in terms of metallic style in relation to location. No absolute truths and probably more exceptions than anyone could ever count, but still. For instance, metalcore is primarily an American show, with Australia and Germany as strong followers. Norway is particularly strong in black metal. Italy, Spain and other southern European countries have a strong presence of new generation melodeath. The Netherlands, where your pink-butted monkey has his home – together with Sweden – do especially well as far as no-nonsense smack-in-the-face death metal is concerned.
Once again, no absolute truths, but general observations. Feel free to chuck in your two cents down below if you disagree. Or agree!
In all those above mentioned years, I don’t think I’ve ever come across a German band doing Swedeath, the Swedish-originating death metal that has as its primary goal the scaring of little kids and bashing of religion. In general that is. There are many exceptions…until this one. Lifeless, with almost a decade of existence behind its back, can almost be called veterans of a modern generation of old-school death metal – if it weren’t for the meager two albums they’ve released in all those years.
One of those two is Godconstruct, released earlier this month through German label F.D.A. Rekotz. Operating in the above described genre, the album is one of many modern records that takes its inspiration heavily from the late 1980s and early 1990s of death metal (the early years). The record features twelve songs – including into and intermission – of raw and aggressive bashing. Sound bites including evil-sounding church organs and Gregorian chanting, as well as fragments of narratives of societal criticism provide unambiguous indications of the group’s lyrical content.
A listener really does need such hints in order to draw that conclusion, as Marc Niederhagemann’s vocals are pretty much impossible to decipher – not that that’s an issue, as he more than makes up for this through long-haul growling with a depth of voice and a tone that approaches that of, say, a Glen Benton.
At the same time, musically the first descriptive classification that arises is ‘sharp edged’. ‘Raw’ is a close second. Refinement and harmony are almost antonyms for Godconstruct and the record draws its strength from its anger and continuous stream of violence. That makes for a pretty homogenous mass, with scarce lift-ups. Most notable strong points are a song called “Sworn to Death“, which features Niederhagemann’s extra thick vocal efforts, as well as “Seething with Rage” which includes an interesting and contrasting session with tribal bongo’s.
In the end, it’s just not enough though. For those with a liking for such musical material, Lifeless offers some serious pleasure, but others may also recognize a lack of originality and something new. Lifeless tread a well-trodden path with Godconstruct. They do it well and convincingly – the band are clearly havin’ a blast – but as the so-manieth group to offer audio food according to their recipe, anyone that isn’t an old-school death junkies’ interest may wear out fast.