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Bradley Nowell Doesn't Want Crushed - 93%

SweetLeaf95, April 28th, 2018

Unlike before, Dr. Living Dead took a larger gap of a couple years between releasing records. Crush The Sublime Gods wouldn't come out until 2015, and some clear development and further maturity can be easily observed in the time that they took. This is typically when bands make shark jumping albums, and while I wouldn't quite give it that label, the time off definitely solidified their own style that was taking form on the previous record.

A noticeable feature is the abundance of slower paced songs, and they take as much importance in the final product as the ripping thrashers. "Another Life" is a fine example of this, and is probably one of my favorite tracks. It has some of the most melodic singing I've heard form these doctors, and the riffs are heavy enough, but also steady and abridged. This excellent form isn't lost even in the faster songs, because "Force Fed" rips and tears after the intro, yet the singing is better than ever. Also, a fair amount of the tracks, including that one, are longer in length, providing more depth to them and allowing room for creative branching. Longer guitar bridges, and hard bass transitions are fairly common due to this, making everything flow together really well.

I'll admit, by this point, some of the lyrics can get a bit dumb. Since the band hardly hones in on the joke aspect of this anymore and writes material that's a little more legit, it can seem out of place sometimes, and definitely loses all aspects of humor. Thankfully this isn't very common, but the line about "fuck your brain dry" or whatever seemed silly, and would have fit better on the first record. Especially since it was placed before one of the most beautiful instrumentals this band has ever produced, "Salvation". This is a very soft piece, with a sad atmosphere containing clean rhythms and a soothing solo to replace what would be vocals. Speaking of vocals, they're executed perfectly, and the gang outbursts are far better than before.

Curse The Sublime Gods is definitely the record hardcore thrashers would say "ugh, they've softened up", but in reality, this is solid material. The memorability of songs is more present, the structures themselves are cleaner, it's still really heavy, and Dr. Living Dead's own unique style is fully formed. With almost no problems, this makes for one of the greatest thrash records of the last few years.

The Gods are crushed - 91%

Felix 1666, September 5th, 2015
Written based on this version: 2015, CD, Century Media Records (Digipak, Limited edition)

Here comes the review for the recent album of Dr. Living Dead and I hear you asking: Dr. Living Dead? These crude guys from Sweden with a penchant for a somewhat moronic outfit? These dudes that make sounds like being the testamentary executor of Suicidal Tendencies? Do you want to bore us?

All these questions may have their justification, although the doctors did not yet release a weak full-length. But their third attack comes as an act of emancipation while the influence of their role models is gradually vanishing. Yes, the musicians still wear skulls and bandanas and they do not break with their past. Anyway, more important is that they have extended their musical spectrum. This means, for instance, that the fantastic mid-tempo piece "Eternal Darkness of the Fucked Up Mind" fascinates with genuine heavy metal riffing while avoiding any form of crossover sounds. It is time for pure metal worship. The multilayered guitar work of the title track also reveals the metallic roots of the band members. Nevertheless, the new lead vocalist with the fitting pseudonym Dr. Mania is doubtlessly familiar with the singing style of crossover grandpa Mike Muir. Among other things, the chorus of the straight "TEAMxDEADx" makes this clear. It is one of these sections where Dr. Mania´s voice sounds distanced and melodic at the same time. But to be proud of your influences does not necessarily indicate a shortage of own ideas and Dr. Living Dead do not show a lack of creativity. Their songs convey different feelings such as fury ("Civilised to Death") or melancholy ("Another Life") without generating any inconsistencies.

The album glitters with a perfect production. I am sorry, but I cannot describe the sound in a more differentiated manner. Everything is expertly balanced and the overwhelming mix is based on both pressure and power. The unbeatable sound of the guitars sets the bar very high for their future releases while the well audible bass guitar underlines the metallic atmosphere of the album. Dr. Mania´s voice is also put in the right light and there is no doubt that this guy is a worthy successor of Dr. Ape. He manages all challenges in a masterly manner so that his charismatic and vigorous performance enriches the sound significantly. Well executed background vocals are more than just a supplement.

During the whole album, Dr. Living Dead master the challenge to keep up the tension. They face the long distance of 15 tracks (53 minutes) without any kind of self doubts. The bonus tracks do not drop off in quality while blending into the overall appearance. One may rather discuss the necessity of the relaxed instrumental ("Salvation"), which is also featured on the regular version of the full-length. But under the bottom line, this dreamy experiment does not hurt the flow of the album in a sustainable way. "Crush the Sublime Gods" sounds lively and energizing from start to finish. The band members seem to be fans of their own music and their joy of playing is impossible to ignore. The apocalyptic intro sets the ball rolling and eight killer tracks follow. Only after that, the songs cannot fully compete with the previous numbers while delivering solid metal. Nevertheless, the second instrumental ("Triggerkiller") convinces with its infectious aura and turns out to be a late highlight. Anyway, the best pieces are the diversified title track, the heavyweight "Force Fed" with its riff orgy at the end and the aforementioned speed tracks "TEAMxDEADx" and "Civilized to Death" as well as "Eternal Darkness of a Fucked Up Mind".

The final track combines the strengths of the four lunatics for the last time. Slow parts and energetic outbursts are alternating, the chorus offers powerful background vocals and the guitars add some melancholic tones at the end. The relatively epic play time of more than six minutes makes it possible. In view of this almost overlong appearance, maybe one can say that this tune works as a kind of summary of the previous numbers. Anyway, my summary of this review is simple. Dr. Living Dead have unexpectedly released an outstanding album that picks up the spirit of the eighties without sounding stale. It will accordingly be interesting to see their further development. But first of all, I will buy a bandana.

A contestant for album of the year! - 93%

Daneels, May 12th, 2015
Written based on this version: 2015, CD, Century Media Records

I first encountered Dr. Living Dead during a concert which featured Angelus Apatrida. I already knew the latter band and that was actually the reason for me to go to that gig. Before that concert, I didn't have high expectations regarding Dr. Living Dead. But oh boy, I was dead on wrong. Dr. Living Dead thrashed the place, made me headbang and mosh like a wild maniac along with other wild maniacs and their performance easily became the highlight of the event! Buying their latest album was a no-brainer to say the least.

Crush the Sublime Gods is Dr. Living Dead's third full-length album. It's the first album I have bought from the band and it also is the first one that features Dr. Mania on vocals and Dr. Slam on the drums. After a news channel styled introduction, the band kicks things off with the title track. During this track, the band mixes lightning fast guitar shredding and drumming with slower, more technical riffs. If I were to introduce the band to someone who doesn't know them yet, I would immediately play this track as it's a perfect example of what these intense Swedish badasses have to offer.

But calling them just intense is actually a huge understatement. Both in this album and live, Dr. Living Dead plays so fast and aggressive that it makes many other thrash metal bands feel like they're not even trying to go full speed! The band works as a true team. Dr. Mania's vocals are full of anger and rage, Dr. Toxic and Dr. Rad make their guitars shriek like crazy and Dr. Slam's drum style is fast and aggressive. All these elements combined make the group an awesome moshing band!

Most of the album's tracks are truly intense thrashers, think Metallica's Battery or Slayer's Angel of Death and you know what you'll get yourself into. Some other songs, like Ethernal Darkness of the Fucked up Mind, take things a bit slower, but therefore not less intense. Overall, everything in Crush the Sublime Gods, from the band's playing style and lyrical themes to the album's artwork breathes old-school 80s style thrash.

The front cover, for example, shows an 80s sci-fi scene with an alien (or god) shooting lighting from its TV monitor mouth at the people standing below. This scene, of course, also refers to the album's primary theme of social oppression and media manipulation. The back cover features an old-school CRT TV screen showing the entire band and the inside cover looks like it was made using a Commodore 64 computer, just like in those days. And of course, you can't have 80s artwork without lots of vibrant neon colors and this album has plenty of that!

Some of the themes featured in the album's tracks are anarchy and revolution (TEAMxDEADx), relentless greed (Buck$) and political propaganda (Civilized to death). Once again, typical old-school thrash metal stuff. It fits the band's sound like a glove and that's all that matters.

For my favorite track, I'll go with TEAMxDEADx. It's lightning fast, catchy and is ideal for getting you in full moshing mode! It could also serve as an anthem for the band! But to be fair, I could call every track on this album my favorite, they are all so badass and intense. All killer, no filler! Just the way I like it.

There's actually nothing bad I could say about Crush the Sublime Gods. It has a good length (about 46 minutes), the album is an adrenaline rush from beginning to end and is therefore highly recommended to every metalhead out there. Particularly if you're a fan of the early Metallica or Slayer. The only bad thing I could say is that this band truly deserves a lot more attention and acclaim than what they currently get.

You know, I could recommend this album as hard as I can, but the only way to give this band and album true justice is to watch Dr. Living Dead perform live and buy this album right after it! It's one of those bands that you have to experience for yourself to get the full experience. So go check them out, buy this album and get ready to slam!!