Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Undecimber-Dead Inside

Downfall Records

According to Wikipedia, which I do realize is not always a legitimate source of information but in this case will have to do, Undecimber is a name given for a thirteenth month in a calendar that traditionally has only twelve months. Additionally, some sources claim that the word has comical interpretations while others point towards drearier connections to the underworld. For Sweden's Undecimber, whose dark goth roots can be traced all the way back to 2001 when they were known as the industrial-leaning act Reactor, the choice of moniker (adopted in 2007) perfectly reflects a band that is of a more unknown origin. Hailing from Stockholm the band, which is lead by the chilling vocals of (no doubt) vampire-in-training/guitarist Patrik "Snakes" Ransäter, first made their mark on goth rock/goth metal scene with the well-received, 2011 album "Seven Nights Of Sin". On the upcoming "Dead Inside", which was mastered at Fascination Streets Studios (Opeth, Katatonia, Amon Amarth and Soilwork), the band looks to build on the momentum of their full-length debut album while also expanding both their sound and their (also no doubt at all about it!) ever-growing legion of the damned (aka: Undecimber fans)! With 10-tracks in all and a haunting sound that seems to have been inspired as much by the gods of old (The Damned, The Sister Of Mercy, Bauhaus, Joy Division, Killing Joke, Concrete Blond, Gene Loves Jezebel, The Cult, Depeche Mode, N.I.N. and Alice Cooper) as the gods of new (H.I.M., later day Linkin Park and to a lesser extent both Danzig and Type O' Negative) this is a chilling release and one that goth fans should greatly appreciate! Now, while Snake's oddly cool voice seems to be the main focal point of this Swedish band there is more to the picture then just the one man. Additional guitars come courtesy of Emma "Lash" Kronborg while bass and drum duties fall on Michael "Mizzy" Carling and Peter "Zkipper" Jansson respectively. As no other details have been made available in regards to "Dead Inside" it's currently unknown (at least on my end) who else might be physically involved with the album. Still special mention should still be made of the keyboard and synthesizer elements that are present throughout this very cool album as it greatly enhances the overall chilling atmosphere of "Dead Inside". Along with heavy rock guitar solos these electronic effects create a darkly-tinged backdrop over which Snake can easy paint his cool and collected "Come closer my sweet so I can swallow your soul!" delivery.  And speaking of the electronic elements, it does seem as it some of Reactor's sound trickled down into Undecimber. In the mist of  melodic goth metal one can certainly pick up the afterglow of industrial rock. Whether it's the effective use of synths (which first come into play on the album's cool opener, "Three  Pages From  Hell", and then run all the way through until the it closes with the eery "Beyond  The  Grave") or some (sinister) post-industrial harsh guitar riffs ("Fatal  Kiss", "Tears From  The Past", "Scars Of Pleasure") an album like "Dead Inside" often reflects the thin line that separates the worlds of industrial rock/electronic rock and alternative rock/goth rock. Given all of that it still should be duly noted that above all else this is still very much a heavy release from a heavy band. Of course the line between heavy rock and heavy metal might get blurred somewhat with the goth outfit Undecimber, but the guitars on "Dead Inside" seem as if they are focused on relaying crushing riffs 99.9% of the time! Of these tracks there are some real wicked moments such as "Fatal Kiss" and "Scars  Of  Pleasure" (both of which have foundations built out of HUGE heavy metal riffs!) as well as the cuts "Three  Pages  From  Hell", "Solitude", "War Hero" and "Wait  In  The  Dark". Really though there isn't a bad cut to be found on this sophomore release and, as stated, fans of all things goth should appreciate all of the effort that has obviously been put into the follow-up of "Seven Nights Of Sin". Due for release this upcoming January, "Dead Inside" should be an early favorite to make my "Best of 2014" list!

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