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Undead Creep - "The Ever-Burning Torch" (CD)

Undead Creep - "The Ever-Burning Torch" CD cover image

"The Ever-Burning Torch" track listing:

1. Immolation For Reincarnation
2. God's Disdain
3. Surrounded By Tombs
4. Eternal Rest
5. Frozen Asphyxiation
6. Interlude – On Blackened Mountains
7. Eradicated Memories
8. Swallowed By The Chasm
9. Survive The Aftermath
10. Forbidden Cult
11. Intro – Darkest Slumber (Demo)
12. Final Demise (Demo)
13. Ritual Slaughter (Demo)
14. Summoning The Abyss Lord (Demo)
15. Undead Creep (Demo)

Reviewed by on October 12, 2011

"'The Ever-Burning Torch' operates on the blood-clotted tools inherited by their death metal brethren to the north—d-beat drumming, pulverized-limb-dragging paces, colon-expelling vocals, and hollow guitar harmonies."

Undead Creep’s first full-length recording comes to us from Italy by way of Sweden. The decrepit death metal sounds of the late eighties/early nineties Stockholm scene just won’t die, and now we have Italian bands such as Undead Creep worshiping at the altar of Nihilist and Entombed. “The Ever-Burning Torch” operates on the blood-clotted tools inherited by their death metal brethren to the north—d-beat drumming, pulverized-limb-dragging paces, colon-expelling vocals, and hollow guitar harmonies.

“Immolated For Reincarnation” shows the group opening the album with a burst of speed. Although Undead Creep pushes the pace even further on latter tracks, often utilizing blast beats, “Immolated For Reincarnation” highlights the faster side of the band. Its fast-picking, sliding guitar notes also reveals an Unleashed influence. More Unleashed homage rears its iron-helmeted head on “Eradicated Memories.” Here, the group again employs a similar guitar technique and high-hat cymbal rides during an instrumental bridge.

Although lacking the voluptuous amped tones of Dismember, the guitar rhythms are the album’s best quality. “God’s Disdain” opens with ascending harmonies that soon fall into the bottom end of the fret board. Muffled, mid-paced tempos become the norm, cutting through the airwaves like a Jason Voorhees-wielded machete. “Surrounded By Tombs” is set forth by similar, scraping notes. Perhaps the group consciously put “Tomb” in the name, a place of burial or “Grave.” The nod to Grave is quite apparent on this initial segment, but once the vocals come into the mix, as with every track, a vocal style similar to Matti Kärki (Dismember) comes into play. The horror-film harmonies near the end of “Immolated for Reincarnation” is a time warp back to Dismember’s “Dismembered.”

Undead Creep injects the album with cinematic theatrics on the instrumental numbers “Interlude-On Blackened Mountains” and the intro to the bonus demo tracks. Both numbers feature somber-wrapped acoustic guitars. These demo tracks are rawer in tone, but still mixed well (minus the obtrusive cymbals), especially for demos. The band’s namesake track and “Ritual Slaughter” are two tracks of note.

Undead Creep isn’t breaking any new ground with “The Ever-Burning Torch.” They’re unearthing old Grave(s). This style doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, though, as more and more bands form every year. The good news for Undead Creep is that they have a good grasp on how to play this style effectively. It’s a shame “The Ever-Burning Torch” will get lost in the jumble.

Highs: Undead Creep's produced a valid version of Stockholm's Big Four.

Lows: Too many bands are doing this today.

Bottom line: "The Ever-Burning Torch" is a good listen, especially for fans of Stockholm death metal, but fails to break new ground.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 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)