Want thrash with its heart in the 80s but its mind very much in the now? Turn this up
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.”
IN THE BELLY OF THE BEAST IS OUT NOW VIA DENOMINATION
Dead Sleep: dead good