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Matt Bass is back after Halloween 2011'a demo with an EP. I can't say too much about the demo because I don't own it (only 30 copies were pressed), but I do know from hearing one promo track that it was a slab of classic death metal in the style of good ol' bands like Carnage, Nihilist, Therion, etc.
This EP is in a similar vein, but executed with a bit more originality and stronger songwriting. The songs are longer but they don't drag on at all. The drums aren't mixed quite as loud as they were on the 2011 demo. Which brings me to the production, courtesy of Brian Werking of Ex Mortiis infamy. The production is a lot darker this time around. It feels like there's a bit more room for the instruments to breathe and come into their own.
The four songs, as I said, are a little on the long side, which separates Deadman's Blood from their punk-encrusted Swedish counterparts. The length feels very necessary to the songs. The best use of length is "House of Horrors," which really adds to the creepy atmosphere. It's as if the front cover has come to life, especially if you pay attention to the lyrics.
The guitar tone is something that really fascinates me on this album, culminating with the doomy, almost, dare I say, stoner-ish riffs on "House of Horrors." It's as crunchy and blood-soaked as Entombed were on Left Hand Path, but the guitar tone here still remains unique in a way, almost ethereal in its fuzz. Matt's vocals are guttural and more lower than anything L-G Petrov or Matt Kärki. It's as low as a growl can go while still enunciating the lyrics.
One really important feature that differentiates this EP from the demo, or three features, I should say, is the guest appearances of Brian Werking on lead guitar, and Kam Lee and Mike Browning on backing vocals. You'll know when those guys come in; they're really distinct and playing on every song. This is the strongest point of the album and makes it stand out as one of the greatest releases of the recent bygone 2012.
The only thing that doesn't stand out is the bass. I think I hear it from time to time but it's not prominent. No complaints, though, as the focus is guitar and vocals.
Overall, for fans of the Swedish death metal sound who may be looking for something a little more unique than an Entombed clone, I would say get this. There are only 100 copies pressed, but if you're lucky you may be able to get it. Otherwise, iTunes and Amazon carry it for download.