Opener SS Corvus sets the scene for this nautical journey with some gorgeous seafaring field recordings and Devin Townsend inspired clean guitar layered on top, this intro giving the impression of setting off from somewhere on serene, calm waters. Of course, things pick up – the band opting for a slow build rather than sharp loud/soft dynamics – and the song explodes into an enormous groove, its ‘chorus’. Rather than being threatening, this section feels triumphant, the sound of the Corvus on the high seas in all its glory.
From here on out, it becomes clear than the ‘songs’ mask the real purpose of the album, that is, to take the listener on one singular, forty minute adventure. Each track ebbs and flows like the tides, building slowly from the ground up, and crushes you with a barrage of riffs only when it’s good and ready. 9 Knots (approximately 10.4mph – fairly fast for a big boat I reckon) definitely takes its time to warm up – over half its length, in fact – but this ingredient proves as important as the heavier, more devilish side to the group, making the louder sections even louder and more turbulent by comparison.
Personal highlight and expansive closer Drop Anchor clocks in at 14 minutes and encapsulates everything The Dead At Sea do well. Given longer to experiment, angular riffs have time to duck and dive in and out of the verses, capitulating in a theme riff that is the album’s best. The final five minutes or so are devoted entirely to the Corvus’ grand send off – an enormous doom riff jammed until it runs out of steam and sinks itself into a wall of feedback.
released November 1, 2016
chris scrivens - guitar
pete jones - guitar
bruce goodenough - drums
Recorded and mixed by Jay Dean at Dubrek Studios, Derby 2016
Mastered by David Mitson at The Mitsonian Institute, Stourbridge 2016