DEATH THE LEVELLER – DEATH THE LEVELLER
Out of Ireland comes Death The Leveller, a band that labels themselves as doom metal, although, I have a hard time agreeing with it.
They have some of the markers of doom metal – dropped tuned, slow, sullen riffs and complimentary drumming, but the reason I have a problem calling them doom metal is because their singer (Denis Dowling), while sullen, sings mostly in majors. Not a big thing, I know, but still, it threw me off.
This four-song EP runs, and I’m not even kidding, a whopping 38 minutes long. I love stuff like this. You think you’re looking at enough music for a trip to the store, and you pop it in and it winds up being a trip to the next city and back. Although, I guess, since they’re in Ireland, that’s a trip from one end of the island to the other (I’m kidding).
It’s surprisingly long, is my point.
Denis‘ vocals have, oddly enough, a Mike Patton (of Faith No More/Mr. Bungle etc) quality to them. You listen to “A Call to Men Of Noble Blood”, and you can sort of hear Faith No More‘s “Matador” (off their newest, Sol Invictus), which is cool. The music itself also has a Devin Townsend Project feel to it (on Accelerated Evolution, the songs “Storm and Away”, most notably) as well. So there are a lot of things working to their advantage.
There is, however, a glaring problem: the songs all sound the same. There’s very little variation in tempo or drum beat, so the songs all sound like one long song with different movements and short pauses. I had to listen to the whole thing three times in order to pay attention to each track, so it was a little off putting.
If I throw in My Dying Bride – which, I think we can all agree, were the king dicks of long, drawn out music, I can at least be treated to several different sounding songs. Death The Leveller doesn’t have that.
I also feel as if the Dowling throws in big epic words, like “acquiesce”, just to have big epic words. It actually borders on pretentious. On a very basic level, I think the songs would grab more attention if the lyrics were simpler
The upshot to that is, this music is the kind of music you can put in just to have some music on, and then tune it out very easily – and that’s not meant as a dig on the band. I like certain music that I can put on and clean the house to. Maybe they take it as a compliment, maybe not, but those are the facts.
I have NO doubt that this band can and will do better. I would LOVE to hear anything they write in the future. The mix is strong and everything sounds good, but right now I feel like they have a bit of honing to do to their overall direction.
So if you’re a goth metal lover who likes to dust your furniture, then this disk is for you, and for that I give Death The Leveller a 2 out of 5.
Death The Leveller dropped June 12th.
FFO: My Dying Bride, Devon Townsend
Denis Dowling – Vocals
Ger Clince – Guitars
Dave Murphy – Bass
Shane Cahill – Drums
01 – A Call to Men of Noble Blood
02 – Gone Forever
03 – The Day Before Night of Broken Glass
04 – How to Break Pernicious Spell
Check out Death The Leveller here: