"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Common Dead - "Diatribe" (CD)

Common Dead - "Diatribe" CD cover image

"Diatribe" track listing:

1. Inveigh (2:44)
2. Critical Mass (3:04)
3. Delegates (4:20)
4. Recollect (4:13)
5. True Noir (3:23)
6. Sinister Veil (3:36)
7. Wound (4:08)
8. The Hearing (3:11)
9. No Saint (4:09)
10. Dusk to Dawn (4:11)

Reviewed by on February 24, 2012

"'Diatribe' is thrashy and energetic, with a good deal of groovy mayhem present. Rounding out the thrash-meets-groove sound are inspiring guitar solos, intermittent forays into melodic death metal, and even some blast beating drum work."

Taking the uncommon route of a one-man project that isn’t black or symphonic metal in nature, Common Dead breaks onto the scene with “Diatribe,” which is a fast moving and headbanging exercise in mixing genres. Although obviously of lower sound quality than an established band with major label backing, “Diatribe” still has the stylistic touches and subject matter required to pique the interest of heavy metal fans looking for something new.

The recording quality on the CD version of this solo act is unfortunately on the mid-to-lower end, with the guitars having a fuzzy and distorted quality that causes them to bleed together across songs. A few of the standout tracks do distinguish themselves from the rest of the music on the disc, but overall the songs end up sounding very similar. Despite these issues, all the elements are still in place for an underground metal fist pumping good time.

“Diatribe” is thrashy and energetic, with a good deal of groovy mayhem. Rounding out the thrash-meets-groove sound are inspiring guitar solos, intermittent forays into melodic death metal, and even some blast beating drum work. “Recollect,” for instance, is more poignant than brutal, while “Dusk to Dawn” has an epic and mournful tone. Although more guttural overall, the pissed off and shouted vocal delivery strongly brings to mind Pantera.

Common Dead’s latest album is fully headbang friendly and strikes a good balance between heaviness and groovy melody, resulting in a sound that is memorable and anthemic instead of catchy. The production leaves something to be desired, but fans of the well known bands in these genres should give it a listen anyway and see what the underground has to offer.

Highs: A thrash-meets-groove sound that brings to mind an underground and more guttural Pantera.

Lows: The sound quality is fairly poor and some of the songs blend together with the distorted guitar tone.

Bottom line: An underground release blending thrash, groove, and melodeath with a bit of a Pantera vibe.

Rated 3.0 out of 5 skulls
3.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
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)