Dead River Runs Dry – Hierophants of the Storm

DDRDHaving reviewed a demo of theirs back in 2012, I’d wondered if more Aussie black/death/thrash goodness would be forthcoming from these would-be progeny of other Down Under greats like Destroyer 666, Denouncement Pyre, et al, and now Dead River Runs Dry’s first full-length has arrived, and what a hellblazing scorcher it is. Taking the ability to seamlessly amalgamate multiple extreme metal genres like the aforementioned now-in-the-Netherlands-living KK Warslut and co. (along with their penchant for latter-era clean production cues), DDRD’s Hierophants of the Storm will have your spike-studded wrists grasping oranges heavenward one moment, while proudly pumping them Judas Priest-fan style the next. Each song contains riffs running the full gauntlet between classic metal and its most extreme neighbors, switching up styles continuously, but the most memorable guitar assaults are always repeated enough to enable the listener to easily discern one song from the next. For these reasons I find myself wanting to tag Dead River Runs Dry simply “metal” without prefix. Simply put, Hierophants of the Storm’s tracks are composed and comprised of sounds carefully arranged in the proper how and why of structural decision-making, creating something both extremely heavy and difficult to forget.
Prime example of this classic-meets-extreme paradigm displays prominently on ‘Skull of the Wind’, a song which takes riffs that could fit comfortably on an old Whiplash cassette and then marries them up with the slavering guitars and vocals of (a ‘deathened’) version of Funeral Mist’s Maranatha. Of course, the primary influence I detect is that of their Australian brethren and forbears – the outgoing riff at 3:45 would feel completely at home anywhere on D666’s untouchable Phoenix Rising in terms of its anthemic glory and neck-cracking refrain.

Each subsequent spin of this debut uncovers a respect for and inclusion of metal’s most poignant and often, most obscure corners, and if dutifully attended to, will provide long-lasting benefit to the listener with subsequent spins. Order this and bask in a new, non-boring entrant into the scene. -Jim


~ by cliftonium on May 20, 2015.

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