First of all, I had never heard anything by Dr. Living Dead! before this, so I’m not really commenting in comparison of the new album against their older material. However, I was impressed enough to immediately head on-line and order their debut album. It would have been both but, seriously, importing costs plus shipping are a real bitch to the wallet. Anyhow, “TEAMxDEADx” immediately sold me on these guys. I loved the fast paced material, the energy, even the clean singing next to the gang chants in the chorus. Immediately I was reminded of some Crust Punk/Crossover Thrash acts like Municipal Waste, early Anthrax, and even a bit of Agnostic Front from a Hardcore standing point. It was just a fun song that I hope deep down will never get old, where as “Civilized to Death” is a little more cheeky in it’s darker hostility that is greatly appreciated.
While I had hoped more of the album would end up a jovial romp like “TEAMxDEADx”, Crush the Sublime Gods mirrored “Civilized to Death” more so. This isn’t a bad thing at all though. The title track was often geared more to a Hardcore foundation, though the main verses reintroduce that faster technical fretwork that made the two singles stand out. Meanwhile there was “Eternal Darkness of the Fucked Up”, which wound up being more of a standard groove-heavy Thrash Metal performance.
The more I listened to Crush the Sublime Gods, I couldn’t help but sense a flashy So-Cal Crossover Thrash touch to the music, even though the band is based out of Sweden. Influences that can be compared to Death Angel and Suicidal Tendencies kept popping up in my mind the entire time, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing in the long run. The only major difference is that gloss of old-school Thrash Metal revival that makes it all far more stylish and crisp than it would have been back in the eighties. This is especially true later on. “Scanners” immediately came across like something the latter of those would have slapped on their album, kind of reminding me of songs like “Send Me Your Money” in context.
As it stands, I’m impressed by Dr. Living Dead!, though I can’t say Crush the Sublime Gods is completely living up to the expectations the two songs released have created at this point. I’ll need to really sit down and hear the album in full, and not just a handful of the songs. I respect the hell out of the band for what they’re doing, enjoy the skull mask gimmick a little more than I probably should, and found a number of songs really getting my blood boiling. Of course some manage to do that a lot better than others. If their earlier material is anything like this, I doubt I’ll regret having ordered the debut, or even their follow-up whenever I get around to it. So, at this point, I do recommend checking out Crush the Sublime Gods, but would rather hear more before I make that opinion official.