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Dead To This World - "Sacrifice" (CD/EP)

Dead To This World - "Sacrifice" CD/EP cover image

"Sacrifice" track listing:

1. Har Megiddo/Satan's Storm
2. Sacrifice
3. Death Courageous
4. The Malefice
5. Altar of Mahakali

Reviewed by on January 14, 2012

"Dead To This World has released an EP that fits in with what one would expect from old schoolers in the genre - pretty nasty, loud and evil, with some interesting twists."

The past year has shown that old has once again become the new thing in terms of black metal. Middle-era bands, such as Tsjuder, came back in a blaze, and even old schoolers from that infernal hotbed of Bergen, Norway are gracing us with their presence. A few years since they graced us with their debut, ex-Immortal bassist Iscariah is back in a guitar/vocal capacity in Dead To This World's newest line-up. After parting ways with ex-Gorgoroth drummer Kvitrafn a couple of years ago, he is joined by another Gorgoroth alumnus, second guitarist Skyggen, in this newest incarnation of the band (which also now features members from Taake and Black Flame).

"Sacrifice" is the new five-song EP from this group of black metal progenitors. It's the loud blast of arctic wind that you would expect from an ensemble composed of such a cabal. "Har Megiddo/Satan's Storm" starts things in style with an ominous intro that gives way to gloriously chaotic blast beats. It sets an unabashedly noisy tempo for the songs to come, but strikes the right balance with guitar leads that know when to emerge and when to give way. The beat is varied plenty in this track, making it one of the better songs.

The title track begins with leads that channel old Slayer to a tee until settling into a brash black metal gallop. Parts of that song get a bit generic overall, but the vocalist gets props for belting out clean and decipherable lyrics. Later in the song, they pick the pace up and sound much more in their element. "Death Courageous" takes a more unconventional approach of simplicity in its beginning drum rolls and stripped-down structure. This basic primitive beat is catchy and needs no embellishment with its nice loop of guitar leads, proving that a track can be more effectively evil when kept basic.

Dead To This World even cover an obscure Pentagram track, 1987's "The Malefice." Whereas the original was extremely raw cassette tape thrash, their version only slightly resembles it, and they pretty much make it their own. They turn the track into something similar to the other songs; a decent old school black metal song engaging in a serious clobbering of drums and thrashing onslaught. Dead To This World prove they can make black metal that is both evil and melodic at the same time. The final track on "Sacrifice" is a very long opus named "Altar of Mahakali." Like the archetypical epic-length tune, it navigates through plenty of chapter interludes and then trails off into a long outro of storms, thunderclaps and flutes. That ending would have been interesting, except it lasts a few minutes and doesn't reprieve into anything. It leaves you guessing and expecting a different outcome.

Dead To This World has released an EP that fits in with what one would expect from old schoolers in the genre - pretty nasty, loud and evil, with some interesting twists. Black metal purists will be appeased, although it needs more in terms of songwriting finesse. Some of the tracks proved to be either interchangeable or drag on in their structure. A few of the songs get sidetracked and redundant, which makes "Sacrifice" a decent release that falls short of being memorable.

Highs: Vintage black metal sound displaying plenty of fury

Lows: Tracks tend to get redundant and lag at times

Bottom line: Black metal purists will enjoy this EP from Dead To This World.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 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)