Death Is Just The Beginning MCMXVIII
Now that’s what we call death – the return!
Streamed playliStS may have rendered the very notion of the compilation album redundant, but there are still instances when a label sampler can deliver something special. This welcome return for Nuclear Blast’s death metal anthology boasts a handful of visceral exclusives, at least one of which should be sufficiently exciting to at least encourage people to stream this thing, if not actually buy it. Who knows, strangers things have happened…
The first undeniable big deal on the latest Death… Is Just The Beginning compilation is Decapitated’s cover of
Sane by Meshuggah. Now, obviously it takes balls of pendulous enormity to cover Meshuggah in the first place, but somehow the Polish death metallers have, dare we say it, made the song their own, straying just far enough from the original to justify the effort required. Almost as great, Swedish veterans Hypocrisy’s version of legendary Brit punks The Exploited’s They Lie somehow manages to be even more mad-eyed and livid than the original. A third cover version, Immolation’s take on Sepultura’s classic Morbid Visions, is pretty damn monstrous, too, and gets at least 50 extra metal points for Max Cavalera’s guest appearance. Meanwhile, a new track from Silenoz and Shane Embury’s Insidious Disease is an epic, nasty surprise.
Of course, this is partly a promotional exercise, and so newer acts like
The Spirit, Bleeding Gods and Nailed To Obscurity are present and well worth a listen, too. In particular, recent Nuclear Blast signings Aenimus show immense promise on the fiery tech-death of Before The Eons, even while surrounded by the iconic likes of Carcass and Paradise Lost. Ultimately, though, this is worth buying (or indeed streaming) solely to hear Possessed’s
Abandoned: a demo taster for the legends’ long-awaited new album, it’s the most absurdly thrilling slab of pure fucking metal that you will hear this year. On this evidence, death will never die.
Paradise lost: probably wouldn’t make great Butlin’s reps