Formed a little over five years ago Columbus Ohio natives Deadsea have just unleashed their second full length, self titled release on indie label Chrome Leaf. Looks and even first impressions can sometimes be deceiving because for some reason (maybe the trippy cover had something to do with it) I had this trio pegged as the latest entry in the seemingly endless stream of new doom / stoner bands category before even hearing a note. While not completely without merit, early indications on this disc reveal the bands sound leans more towards an electric combination of early Sabbath with bursts of thrash and even punk & hardcore influences. Straight from the onset or more precisely the first four tracks, the band is intent on delivering a relentless barrage of thrash and sludge infused guitar riffage, and lighting fast, whiplash inducing tempos. Vocalist/ guitarist Adam Smith's gravelly, robust voice is right in your face at all times and his technical, yet melodic guitar work is definitely worth mentioning, largely because the band's sound is centered around it.
For all of their heaviness, of which there's definitely an abundance of it on display throughout this disc, their melodies and soaring harmonies are the main focal point here. The final two tracks, the epic sixteen minute "Frozen Rivers" and ten minute closing number "The Morning Frost" finds the band introducing trace elements of progressive rock into their sonic palate. The hypnotic vintage sound of an ARP synthesizer slowly gives way to a drop tuned plodding rhythm that forms the basis of this composition for the first seven minutes, before the gates open a little wider and Smith unleashes a few brief, melodic solos. Smith alters his gruff vocal delivery and actually sings this one, before the second half gives way to a plethora of impressive tempo changes from bassist J.Alex Conley and drummer Jeremy Spears, as the full on aggression returns and Smith rides the song out with more lighting fast runs up the fret board. "The Morning Frost" which is an instrumental begins with the plaintive sounds of Spears' fretless bass and Smith's acoustic guitar before yielding to a swift woosh of a synthesizer, as the full magnitude of this track begins to unfold. A chugging mid tempo rhythm propels the majority of this composition as Smith once again interjects intermittingly with one remarkable multi colored solo after another to the songs apparent conclusion at around eight and half minutes. After about forty seconds they return to brutalize the listener one final time with an absolutely savage, albeit brief, un-credited track.
Quite honestly this is one hell of a kick ass album from start to finish. After repeated listens and absorbing this one deep into the darkest recesses of my cranium, I cannot understand why there hasn't been more of a buzz surrounding this band. Deadsea are on an indie label for the time being , but my feeling is once some of the industry's bigger players happen to catch the smell of wafting smoke coming out of Columbus, that could change in a hurry.
2) Coming Home
3) Killing Faith (Crying Death)
5) Vampyre's Kiss
6) Frozen Rivers
7) The Morning Frost