Undergang – Døden Læger Alle Sår

Undergang”I like my death metal crude, primitive, and soaked in real human guttural vocals.” – Dave Torturdød of Undergang, Convivial Hermit #7 interview

Undergang have always produced the kind of death metal brain-chewing zombies would actually make if their capacities for effort expanded outside quests for warm-blooded flesh. These Danes do the true sounds of disgust and do them well: dirty, down-tuned guitars seep and scour like those on first album-Bolt Thrower. Heavily distorted bass brings an unburied, always-audible crust above the overall mix. Drums handle both doom and death’s-head-banging sections with equal aplomb, while avoiding over-blasting boredom induction. Putrid belch vocals vomit forth in Craig Pillard/undead-throat-singing monk style. And while many hoist the OSDM flag high, the energy found here has little to do with any oft-imitated Swedeath – this is tweaking-while-Autopsy-plays-though-blown-speakers, grime-ridden death, with a dash of punk attitude. This is Undergang.

If you have already heard the band’s 2009 debut Indhentet af døden or 2012’s Til døden os skiller , you know exactly what to expect … however, in Undergang’s case, a listener’s ability to get what he or she expects (and for that to be a good thing) remains one of Undergang’s strongest traits. For Døden Læger Alle Sår (as on the aforementioned albums) not only continues a rotting-trio sound revered by underground death metal fiends, but also showcases Torturdød’s ability to twist staple death metal riffs just enough to make them his own. Unlike their fellow anachronistic brethren in death’s mostly weak attempts at injecting originality in composition while honoring their heroes, with Undergang, you’ll find it a bit more difficult to say “yeah, that riff came directly from ”. Instead you’ll find it easy to crack your forehead against the steering wheel when the fret-slides herald midtempo time changes in ‘Døden Læger Alle Sår’, when drums kick in on the unforgiving march of ‘Ad Ligbitum’, and when ride cymbals are victimized on ‘Kronisk Betændelse i tarmene’. And when the doom dirge of ‘Lemlæstelsens Kunst’ makes its way beneath your skin, your compulsion to crash the nearest funeral of a stranger will be overwhelming.

Ultimately, Undergang’s latest will touch that dying vein of death metal within you if you have that insatiable old school itch, but if you don’t, I’d still recommend spending quality time with Døden Læger Alle Sår, for this band’s energy derives from the uncomfortable death metal spirit, in direct opposition to the (sometimes tolerable) often forced and tired ‘let’s be more melodic-it’s innovative!’ ethic espoused by some in the better-known annals of the 2015 death metal underground. Thanks be to UG for that. -Jim

ps – Undergang are about to embark on a tour with StarGazer, also reviewed this week.

Dark Descent Records

(stream of new material can be found here, or simply enjoy their 2013 EP Søm Til Din Ligkiste below)

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~ by cliftonium on May 20, 2015.

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