Band: Down Among The Dead Men
Album: …And You Will Obey Me
Lable: Transcending Obscurity
Release Date: June 15th 2018
Format reviewed: Digital MP3
Obviously sleeping is for the weak. Why sleep when you can spend every waking minute writing riffs and constructing death metal tunes ad infinitum until you die. This, my friends, is how one Rogga Johansson and Dave Ingram choose to operate on what is, seemingly, a daily basis!
The roll call for these two metal reprobates is a veritable feast of Death – Ingram, currently set down with ‘Just Before Dawn/Echelon/Ursinne and Ex of the mighty ‘Benediction’ and ‘Bolt Thrower’. Johansson? – Well, whom hasn’t he worked with? – But for the sake of examples; Megascavenger/Paganizer/Revolting/Ribspreader/The Grotesquery…you get the idea? Prolific is an understatement.
Somehow, with the help of the talents of session musicians Kjetil Lynghaug on leads and Erik R. Bevenrud on session drums, Dave and Rogga have put together the third offering from their ‘Down Among The Dead Men’ (DATDM) collaboration. From the outset and to the very end of this thirty-minute beast, it is clear that DATDM take no prisoners. No reprieve, no mercy – just all out annihilation.
DATDM play exactly the type of steamrolling Death Metal I love to hear. Nothing complex about it – straight forward Old school Death (think Ingram’s other legendary acts) combined with a killer Crust/Dirty Punk element that is captured and delivered with sublime ferocity and power. Furthermore, there is a dark melodic feel to the 10 compositions on offer here. Match that with the deep-seated grooves that Rogga employs with his riffs and the whole thing just explodes with a fire and energy that is truly addictive. The album title itself is almost prophetic in nature as it implores you to reach for the repeat button just one more time. Oh yes, repeated spins is a given such is the spell that this album casts over the listener!
For me personally, it must be stated that as great as Rogga’s work is on this album, it is Dave Ingram’s vocal performance that has me doing cartwheels. As a massive fan of classic Benediction, nothing pleases more that to hear Dave’s characteristic roar and distinctive tone given the full treatment on this record. Like a Willets or a Van Drunen, Dave’s phrasing and enunciation stands out amongst the crowd, and he is truly one of a kind in the way he constructs his lyrical delivery for maximum impact. For me, Barney Greenway is his only peer when it comes to all out Death Metal style conveyance.
The sound of this album is also a major deal breaker! So Heavy! Superbly crafted with just enough dirt and grime in the back end to heighten it’s ‘Crust’ vibe, ‘Obey..’ possesses a thick pummelling production that only accentuates further the power and devastating intensity of Rogga and co! Such is the experience of the two main protagonists here; they just simply know how to play to each other’s strengths and as such, the whole album flows with unadulterated conviction and sonic precision. Put simply, ‘Obey..’ crushes.
‘Obey..’ is a fantastic album. At its core, a record that pays pure homage to Old School Death Metal – dark and foreboding, yet the direct and unyielding Crust/Punk element gives a real streamlined edge to DATDM’s compositions. Not a second is wasted here. From the get go of ‘Destroy the Infinite’ to the superb crunch of ‘Darkness of Glass’, ‘Obey…’ is turn on, tune in, heads down, see you at the end! It will be your master…You will Obey! Confident this will be considered as one of the Death Metal albums of the year. 8/10 KMaN