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World Under Blood - "Tactical" (CD)

World Under Blood - "Tactical" CD cover image

"Tactical" track listing:

1. A God Among The Waste (4:15)
2. Into The Arms Of Cruelty (4:40)
3. Pyro-Compulsive (4:44)
4. Dead And Still In Pain (4:14)
5. Purgatory Dormitory (3:24)
6. Under The Autumn Low (4:04)
7. I Can't Stand His Name (3:06)
8. Revere's Tears (4:45)

Reviewed by on July 22, 2011

"The band takes rock sensibility and cloaks it under a ‘90s death metal image for an album packed with eye-gouging brutality underneath an infectious backdrop."

World Under Blood is the new project from CKY frontman Deron Miller. That fact alone may be make this a no-go for a select group, but let it be known that this is a true melodic death metal band. Miller joined forces with extreme drummer Tim Yeung for the debut album “Tactical.” The band takes rock sensibility and cloaks it under a ‘90s death metal image for an album packed with eye-gouging brutality underneath an infectious backdrop.

Many will be unprepared for how dedicated Miller comes off on these eight songs. This is not a ploy to gain credibility or a cheap knock-off of a better band. Miller has a sincere love for death metal and it shows with his powerful growls and blazing guitar licks. These songs are tightly composed, as Miller took cues from early death metal by having an album that stays under 35 minutes. It’s great to hear an album like “Tactical” that doesn’t waste time.

The whole “melodic” part of the genre description given earlier on is a major asset for “Tactical.” Miller’s background with CKY allows songs like “A God Among The Waste” and “Dead And Still In Pain” to be more tuneful than most death metal. Usually, that comes from bits of clean vocals scattered on choruses. For the most part, they are a benefit, though they do seem out of place and awkwardly-transitioned in at points. It’s not enough to ruin a song, but these moments are distracting enough to jolt the listener out of the album.

When the album takes a direct route away from clean harmonies or any type of melody, the album disintegrates into mayhem. “Into The Arms Of Cruelty” is held together by fragments of
blast beats and hyper riffs. Having James Murphy behind the knobs ups the impact of these tunes. “Purgatory Dormitory” is another track created in the same style, though compressed into a much shorter duration. Yeung is a beast on these two songs, and should provide relief for fans disappointed with his bland performance on Morbid Angel’s “Illud Divinum Insanus.”

Avoiding the usual pratfalls of dodgy instrumentals or pointless interludes, the breaks from the torrential downpour of intensity are subtle. “I Can’t Stand His Name” seems like another speedy outing, but shifts gears halfway through with a low-key performance. “Revere’s Tears” introduces the acoustic guitars for a strong, blissful entrance only shaken at the core by a return to the unstableness heard on the previous seven songs.

“Tactical” is one of the biggest surprises in metal this year. The album has been years in the making and the general feeling before its release was a mix of interest and unease. However, “Tactical” proves that World Under Blood is a legitimate act. Deron Miller pulls a Dave Grohl in showing his knowledge and passion for the genre. Like Probot did for Grohl, World Under Blood gives Miller a platform to appeal to an audience beyond his usual following.

Highs: Deron Miller has a hell of a growl, melodic death metal that isn't stale or lacking originality, killer solos, Tim Yeung's performance makes up for his work on the latest Morbid Angel record

Lows: Clean vocals seem out of place at times

Bottom line: One of the biggest surprises so far this year, as CKY's Deron Miller shows he can write and perform melodic death metal as well as anybody else in the genre.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)