Want thrash with its heart in the 80s but its mind very much in the now? Turn this up

Metal Hammer (UK) - - New Noise Round-up - WORDS: DOM LAW­SON

Thrash ain’t broke, so there’s no real rea­son to fix it. Formed in Malmo, Swe­den, in 2016, Dead Sleep are much more than just a fiery throw­back to the genre’s hey­day, but the spirit of the genre is au­di­bly safe in their hands. Lis­ten to new al­bum In The Belly Of The Beast to hear a band that have tapped into that mys­ti­cal essence that con­tin­ues to make thrash such a re­li­able thrill.

“I think our ba­sic mas­ter­plan was to keep it sim­ple, clas­sic and melodic,” says singer/bassist Anna Wag­ner. “Our riff-mas­ter Mar­cus [Bader, gui­tarist] was lis­ten­ing to a lot of death and black metal and cer­tain songs carry el­e­ments of that, but then we were lis­ten­ing to Toxic Holo­caust and Power Trip and that re­minded us to keep it fairly straight and not veer off into ex­per­i­men­tal sym­phonic metal with a thou­sand tempo changes. We won’t turn into Voivod any time soon!”

Although Dead Sleep’s de­but is full of smart ideas and imag­i­na­tive dy­nam­ics, it plainly owes a spir­i­tual debt to the po­lit­i­cally charged thrash of the 80s, when bands like Sa­cred Re­ich and Nu­clear As­sault nois­ily de­cried so­cial in­jus­tice and the blood­thirst of the rul­ing class. In The Belly Of The Beast sug­gests that noth­ing much has changed.

“The gen­eral theme of the record is cap­i­tal­ism and all the evil that it breeds: war, sex­ism, racism and self­ish­ness,” Anna ex­plains. “Then there’s the dilemma of de­spis­ing this sys­tem but still not be­ing able to at­tack it in a sat­is­fac­tory way, since we’re all born into it and live as its cap­tives. We are all in­side the belly of the beast.”

As the planet cir­cles the plug­hole, bands like Dead Sleep are more vi­tal than ever. Theirs is a bru­tal, ex­hil­a­rat­ing and lifeaf­firm­ing take on a genre that re­fuses to die. Ul­ti­mately, while hu­man be­ings con­tinue to treat each other like shit, there will al­ways be a de­mand for mu­sic that screams for jus­tice.

“Ag­gres­sion never goes out of style, sim­ply be­cause in­jus­tice never goes out of style,” says Anna. “It’s a genre not so con­cerned with hype and be­ing fash­ion­able, but there’s al­ways go­ing to be a move­ment that sur­vives un­der the sur­face.”


Dead Sleep: dead good

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