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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.