Deathember: Going Postal

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Deathember: Going Postal
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Deathember: Going Postal (Digital Version)
Groove Metal, Melodic Death Metal
Self-release
April 19th, 2013
Release length: 37:11
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Deathember is a Swedish based Melodic Death Metal and Groove Metal act that formed in 2008. The line-up of Rikard Bonander and Staffan Birkedal as guitarists, Elias Ryen-Rafstedt on drums, and Pontus Wicklander on bass has remained consistent over the years. The role of vocalist, however, has changed twice since the formation came to be. Carl Yngvesson stepped down in 2010, the same year the band’s first demo was release, and at some point Tobias Sandin (former Kill the Parish) had joined in for a brief amount of time before Simon Tarasewicz was brought into the fold. 2011 saw the release of the A Thousand Flatlines EP, and about two years later was followed by the band’s first self-released full-length album Going Postal. But does this album have some solid material years in the making, or is it nothing but a cluttered litmus test of forgettable material?

First of all, Going Posted is presented with two different variations. The CD version comes as a digipack with a bonus eleventh song, whereas the digital version you get from Bandcamp (the one this review is based on) is the standard edition with ten tracks. That bit aside, the production values behind this recording are really strong overall. The instruments all have a good amount of a bite to them with just enough of a digital presence to make the assault a lot more crisp. The guitars and bass all work together with the drums at just the right volume level to where nothing feels overshadowed by another instrument. Even the vocals are loud enough to be understood clearly most of the time without constantly pulling your attention to the lyrics being shouted or growled. But, while it sounds pretty strong from a technical standpoint, there’s no denying this release is a bit messy as far as the band’s direction goes.

For the most part, Going Postal is a very Groove Metal oriented album with traces of Melodic Death Metal and Metalcore hooks at times. The title track hits the listener right away with some Djent-esque riffs and twangy bass guitar notes that leave you expecting another Meshuggah clone, but what follows ends up a lot lighter, taking on a Southern touch that is a bit radio friendly in the sense of lighter Pantera execution without actually becoming them. The melodic hooks for the chorus are definitely catchy, carrying a surprising amount of technicality to the execution that treads into Progressive Metal territory, especially as you approach the three minute mark. “Repeat & Remind” isn’t quite as broad, carrying more of a Lamb of God style to the main verses, especially when the layered shouting kick in. What sticks out here, however, are the short yet intricate guitar notes that let the bass to fill the gap before the far richer, more melodic chorus that is simply infectious crashes in.

And then there’s “Spirals”, which attacks the listener with a mixture of blackened Thrash Metal riffs with enthusiastic raspy screaming. There are some electronic effects with cleaner, distant leads prior to and inside a breakdown just past the two minute point, but the melodic tendencies that do creep into the song do introduce more than the randomly placed Goatwhoreish influence into the mix. The level of energy does nicely carry over into “Quietly”, which finds the main verses pushing more of a Hardcore mentality to the Groove Metal riffs before diving into a violent blast beat filled chorus and a later guitar solo that sounds ripped out of an early Hard Rock song backed by a steady faster paced drum pattern.

There’s also a three part kind of conceptual nostalgic chunk that starts up about half way in. “Let Us Flip a Few Pages Back (Part 1)” harkens back to the group’s earlier Melodic Death Metal foundation thanks to a brief explosion of sinister blackened fury between two haunting softer, darker passages. This instrumental bleeds into “Where I Evade (Part 2)”, keeping the sunless atmosphere alive with a much colder presence to the slower moving material that eventually becomes a fairly crushing Death Metal composition. Like before, this one smoothly transitions into “The Deprivation (Part 3)”, another aggressively bleak track that acts like a bridge between the two musical genres, finding bludgeoning material all around, though some creepy, eccentric grooves that sound more like something from a Tim Burton film at times.

While it doesn’t actually share any songs in common with their A Thousand Flatlines EP, Going Postal feels like the culmination of all the years writing material and figuring out the band’s direction rolled into one. There’s a great deal of variety found on this release and, while some really come out of nowhere like “Spirals”, it’s clear there was more composed than what the two previous studio offerings have given listeners up to this point. Even the three part chunk of intertwined songs and their titles hints at this being the case. Hopefully this album is a final expulsion of those ideas, and an opportunity for the group to look ahead and focus on their obvious shift towards Groove Metal. Even if they could make these styles fit more snugly and not sound so drastically different from one another would be a major benefit because, really, almost any stylistic path shown on this album would be a good one for the band to work around in. If anything, consider Going Postal more of a crash course in Deathember‘s growth to where they stand today. It’s a good album, but hopefully the next one will be far less diverse.


01. Going Postal – 3:42
02. Spirals – 2:56
03. Quietly – 4:31
04. Unending Thirst – 4:01
05. Let Us Flip a Few Pages Back (Part 1) – 0:59
06. Where I Evade (Part 2) – 3:21
07. The Deprivation (Part 3) – 4:16
08. Repeat & Remind – 3:21
09. Hailing Down (feat. Ralph Santolla) – 4:08
10. Amnesiac – 5:57
Initial Pressing Score: 7.5/10

Deathember
Deathember

Digital review copy of this release provided by Deathember.