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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.