Heads For The Dead – Into The Red

Band: Heads For The Dead
Title: Into The Red
Label: Transcending Obscurity Records
Release Date: 11 December 2020
Country: United Kingdom/Germany
Format Reviewed: High-quality Digital Recording

Back in 2018 the Death Metal supergroup duo of Jonny Pettersson (WOMBBATH) and Ralf Hauber (REVEL IN FLESH) wowed us with their debut record “Serpent’s Curse” (you can read that review here) and it’s brutal skull-crushing intensity. Now two years later their collaborative project HEADS FOR THE DEAD is back (adding Ed Warble, ex-Gorefest on drums) with a second album “Into the Red” and they seem to have picked up exactly where they left off.

Kicking off with the harsh growl and pummeling drums of the title track, it is quickly apparent that the key features of the band’s debut are still here: monstrous Death Metal vocals, great, powerful drumming, churning guitars and just enough spooky atmospherics to show of the duo’s fascination with schlock horror movies. As with the debut the sound of the album is dense and suffocating, like the music is pumping out of a furnace, in a dark cavern ten miles underground. However while the delivery is no less intense than on the previous release, this time around a little more variety and ear for melody seems to have been added into the mix, with more discernible Black Metal, Grindcore, Thrash and even straight up Heavy Metal standing out among the skull-crushing assault. As tremendous as the band’s debut is it seems a shrewd move to broaden their sound rather than trying to

“At the Dead of Night” mixes some extremely satisfying chugging riffing with ominous doomy passages and what seems like a definite nod towards mid to late period DARKTHRONE with it’s galloping drums, and they aren’t shy to throw a squealing solo into the mix too. While “Horror Injection” absolutely thunders along relentlessly, the band steps back for the intro of “The Seance” setting the mood with some ghoulish keyboard atmospherics and then slowing the pace way down with a sickening, lurching, double-bass driven rhythm that has an air of a zombified MORBID ANGEL having their brains eaten by maggots while they play.

As with the band’s debut there isn’t even a hint of a weak link on this album. Any track could be highlighted for the awesome brutality and as mentioned above the injection of more melody and variety into the tracks on this album makes this album, if not better than its predecessor, absolutely its equal. The brilliantly sick breakdown of “Multi Morbid Maniac” deserves a mention as does the intense one minute burst of “The Revenant” (The movie that my original review just happened to compare their debut to. How about that!). In the final track “Creatures of the Monolith”  the band again summon the spirit of MORBID ANGEL, with a track that is incredibly catchy and still knocks seven shades of crap out of you, while the cover of “Transilvanian Hunger” manages to maintain the intensity of the DARKTHRONE original while fitting it perfectly into the crushing and muscular HEADS FOR THE DEAD aesthetic.

Almost exactly two years ago in what I think was only my second review for BAZ, I gave “Serpent’s Curse” my only 10/10 review up to this point. Well I couldn’t be happier to say I feel the same rush of irresistible enthusiasm this time round and there is no way around it: if you’re looking for a perfect dose of brutal metal to summon in the end of this globally fucked-up year it’s here. HEADS FOR THE DEAD are back and they still rule. 10/10 Tom Boatman

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10/10 : Immortal Classic
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