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Deus Otiosus - 80%

Zerberus, January 10th, 2013

On their previous album, the debut "Murderer", Deus Otiosus show, with a rather convincing effort, that they harbor immense potential for death metal. On their second album "Godless" the Danish band goes on in this continuety and displays an on going contempt for life as they celebrate the end of humanity and grim extermination of civilization.

Deus Otiosus know that death metal isn't necessarily all about being the heaviest, most brutal band in existence. While some of their new tracks certainly are made of the heaviest material, a song like Death Dance shows us that crushing brutallity isn't tantamount to monstrous death metal.

On Godless it sounds like Deus Otiosus have toned down the actual death metal in favor for equally fitting elements, yet still maintaining a solid core of old school death metal. It most definitely still is the Deus Otiosus we came to know on Murderer, and their songwriting still rivals that of Morbid Angel, Immolation and others. Songs like Snakes of the Low, the crushing album opener, is a clear statement that the Danish band means business.

As a whole Godless is a effort on par with certain albums from the late 80's that have since become classics, and it would be an understatement to say that Deus Otiosus is probably one of the strongest current Danish death metal bands. Godless is brimming with memorable riffs as well as classic songwriting. Most definitely a keeper.

Originally written for

Godliness and heaviness on one release - 80%

fatos666, November 28th, 2012

This Danish death metal band's debut album ‘Murderer’ was in my book amazing genius and this continues with ‘Godless’ which is on the whole is a little faster than its predecessor. What I found amazing and what I found exciting about this band on their debut has continued on this second release.

The production is crisp, whilst still being dirty; I have to commend the band for developing their sound rather than going for a lo-fi rotten sound that many peers are still adopting. When you have tracks that are as strong as ‘Pest Grave’ you know you are in good company. The way that the punishing delivery is exasperated by sounds and riffs that tantalise your death metal grounding and immediately results in a perfect combination of old and new. Listeners may find some thrashier moments, combines with a death metal gnarl, an angst that is delivered ‘Surrounded by the Dead’. This has a tirade of doom combined with some intensely catchy blackened, haunting guitar tones backed by rousing undead spouting vocals. This is where I hear development of the Deus Otiosus sound, there is much more speed, much more relevant than other bands totally reliant on a blackend death metal style.

‘Godless’ a perfect follow up to a crushing debut album, rather than sticking to a set formula, Deus Otiosus have developed, they have grown and this is a perfect mix of old and new death metal with a few hints of further reaching influences that are masterfully executed making ‘Godless’ a very essential death metal album.

Originally written for

Godlessness bordering on greatness - 75%

autothrall, November 8th, 2012

Danes Deus Otiosus released a fairly competent and engaging debut in 2010's Murderer, and here they follow in its footsteps with another bastard stepchild of the traditional death and thrash metal genres, and in doing so removed themselves from the most easily categorized retro airs that are in many case beginning to induce nausea since they've become so bloody trendy. Now, I understand that nostalgia is an important factor for all music addicts (including those who weren't around when a genre first developed), and it's 'cool' and I myself enjoy a lot of the bands who provide a loving and gloomy glimpse back into the authenticity of the past, but I'm almost at the point where another doppelganger of Left Hand Path, Severed Survival or Onward to Golgotha might shred what little remains of my sanity...

Thankfully, Godless uses old school imperatives only as a guideline and then forges its own path towards a grave and haunting introspection. The meaty, clear riffing patterns offer a hybrid of dark West Coast thrash like Slayer or Possessed and steadier death metal grooves from the 90s, threaded with tremolo picked passages that betray a hint of a Swedish black/death metal influence. Often there will be eruptions of more uptempo melodies you might expect of Deceased (as in "Cast from Heaven"), but they can also creep along with a cleaner, less crushing death/doom aesthetic. The vocals are blocky, brutal, gruff and dark almost like Jan-Chris de Koeijer on Gorefest records like Erase, with a more ominous ringing out at the end of lyric lines. Drums have a loud, crashy, pervasive tone to them which feels creates a very up front, live foundation for the atmosphere of the guitars, and though it's probably the least distinguished element in the music, the bass rides along hurriedly to the guitar progressions. They win points for getting such a clear production to still seem decidedly raw and lo-fi. These aren't exactly the simplest of songs, either, there's a lot of effort in the construction of the riffs and a wealth of variety across the 41 minutes.

There are some genuinely chilling or distinct tunes on the album, like "New Dawn" where they pair up a mournful clean vocal to the tremolo death metal guitar, or closer "Death Dance" with its swaggering, sepulchral bluesy struts in both the intro and bridge; but at the same time, there are a dozen or so guitar progressions here that didn't entirely blow me away. The leads are frenetic and fun, often using a wah wah effect to create a darker groove psychedelia redolent of the death'n'roll niche, and there are definitely points at which Godless took on a tone and atmosphere akin to Entombed's Morning Star or Wolverine Blues. All told, this was also a fraction more enjoyable than Murderer, and worth hearing if you like well scripted death metal with a difference to it, songwriting over brutality, etc. Fans of Dismember, Unleashed, Grave, Gorefest, Desultory, Necrophobic, and Bolt Thrower will no doubt appreciate it.