Undeath – It’s Time… to Rise from the Grave

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New York-based death metal formation Undeath is back with the highly anticipated sophomore release 'It’s Time… to Rise from the Grave'. Although the band’s first full-length album 'Lesions of a Different Kind' has become an instant classic, the U.S. quintet derives influences from brutal death metal bands like Cannibal Corpse. As a result, the song structure spawned from the groovy riffs. However, the production is propped by a grimy concrete slab of modern brutality.

The opening track ‘Fiend for Corpses’ initiates with the mid-tempo grinding riffs that serve as the rhythmic backbone for this track, the guitar technique used by Kyle Beam and Jared Welch remains in top form. Alexander Jones‘s cavernous growls provide a dense cacophony and drummer Matt Browning engages in fast double kicks, blasting percussion over the vicious riffing. While the album sounds like it has been churned out from the sordid vaults of 90s death metal, the difference between the first album and the sophomore is that Undeath molded the stylistic propensity of classic Cannibal Corpse. The new bassist Tommy Wall adds another texture to the rattling drums. The song’s arrangements allow for multiple transitions from grooves to blast beats, accomplished by the fast tempos and pounding drums.

The instruments are perfectly executed, drawing heavily from the attributes of Morbid Angel. One can’t help but reflect upon the vile brutality. The riffing on the album is quite effective and continues to showcase its quality on ‘Rise from the Grave’ which takes the direction of full gallops exposing the old school facets of the guitars. ‘It’s Time… to Rise from the Grave’ is a brutally dense album that rapidly becomes organic. The prominent growls that contrasts with the skull grinding drums make it one of the strongest releases of the year.

Fast guitar solos and rhythms attract the listener to the subtle technical skills and drumming that is unhinged. ‘Necrobionics’ pushes towards new sonic territories, to the sound that the quintet has aspired for. The song exhibits the impressive skills of the band in its raw combination of old-school death metal. Boisterous tremolo sections are injected into the fundamental sound of the band. There is an excessive grinding guitar riff on ‘Enhancing The Dead’, measured by the crushing drums. The tempo rushes in, but simultaneously Undeath focuses on erratic shifts, upping the pacing that blend well with the shifting riffs.

Two years in the making ‘It’s Time… to Rise from the Grave’ builds on the success of the sheer quality, Undeath managed to hold its own style by delivering a sense of freshness. Songs like ‘The Funeral Within’ and ‘Head Splattered in Seven Ways’ are overstuffed with rotting riffs and a flawless technicality that many bands lack today. Every aspect of this album is perfectly brought by the band from the rhythm guitars to the technical subtleness and the organic riffing: it all amalgamates into a brutal tracklist spanning under 40 minutes.

Matt Browning delivers fast pummeling beats and the lead guitars amid the cavernous grunts of vocalist Alexander Jones. The most insidious side of the band is rather exposed in the onset of the precise percussion. The drifts to slower mid-tempo show the particular qualities of the bass guitar on ‘Human Chandelier’. The brutal form stands out throughout the track, with the subtle progressive guitars ramping its technical level.

At their best, Undeath eschews the complex style of death metal. The quintet ensures mixtures of straightforward sections and grooves without any filler songs. The album derives the robust tone of classic death metal. Giving it an intense amount of chunky guitars, the songwriting balances the mid-paced and the fast tempos, ‘Bone Wrought’ is one of the shortest tracks of the album that seems like a blueprint for a Cannibal Corpse song. ‘It’s Time… to Rise from the Grave’ captures the brutal elements with their organic trademark brought effectively by the band.

The final track ‘Trampled Headstones’ is boastfully brutal and the drumming here perfectly complements the low grunts of the vocals. With its chunky riffs and organic drums Undeath brings a harrowing closure to the album. In conclusion, the sophomore contains many great songs and there are plenty of different influences at work in the band’s songwriting prowess.


  • Music / Songwriting 10/10
  • Vocals / Lyrics 10/10
  • Mix / Production 9/10
  • Artwork & Packaging 9/10
  • Originality 9/10

Undeath successfully elaborates the early Floridian style of death metal into a cohesive sound with more new elements of its own. Even though the overall sound of the band remains the same, Undeath on the sophomore  has restructured its framework and taken a step forward. There is no doubt that the album will be among the favorite releases of the year.

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