(review by Legends – click pic)
Often we think of “Death Metal” as being this jacked up speedy music that either completely turns listeners off, or makes for a misunderstood genre that corporate music has created through bands like Metallica (later days), Slip Knot, or even Linkin Park. Then there are bands that respect the categories and stay within it’s realms, even touching on a punk root here and there, whether the band shows appreciation for an influence through the vocals, the fierce riffs, or just damn good timing on some little duct tape drum kit. That misunderstanding I’m referring to is the message so many bands (see above) try to convey, however sell us short even after dropping a cool $15 on what you think will be the album of all albums. Don’t you just hate it when you believe the hype?

Returning to a simpler time is a three piece band from Wales. 9xDead throws out this three track demo with one reworked track (Haunted – revised), and two new death rock offerings; Poison Bed and Deep Within. The guitar work is basic and stripped down, the bass becomes an adage for the chorus and drummer Gary’s chops are defined without being overwhelmed. It’s a simple sound that has an effective quality.

The lyrics are majority gothic, and written about love lost, death and the unknown personality traits humans obsessively maintain; “Came to my bed were the words that she said, she came here on purpose to fuck with my head” (Poison Bed). The vocals become dark and throaty and I got the feeling Owen (vocalist/guitarist) was really feeling this anger his voice evoked. It really was a bit frightening.

Haunted (revised) is a good song any way they serve it up. This drummer is right on time all the way through and their bassist Rachel even knows what the hell she’s doing adding a consistent bass line here. The lyrics are dark in nature as well, though sung through a clear and amazingly soulful voice, and at times a little reminiscent of the old punk era band the Misfits. Deep Within is the last track of the three, and this is where they lost me – the other two songs were more convincing. That creepy growling vocal is just a bit much if used throughout the songs entirety. Last I had heard 9xDead were label shopping. I’m not sure if they hooked up with one yet, but I think most metal heads would appreciate, if not enjoy them.