Earth - Star Condemn'd
Swedish death metal from Australia, with a vegan behind the drums, anyone? This is actually Earth's five years old debut album, although not released until now, due to economical difficulties. This is classical death metal, with enough melody to attract my attention. The female group member Rachel (the band members are secretive about their last names), does a good job to make the keyboard float into the music and actually enhance the whole sound, something that a few Finnish guys should learn from
I must confess that I belong to those who think that death metal can be quite monotone and even boring during the length of a CD. But Earth manages to keep my interest during the whole record. A remarkable variation in tempo and compositions, without those pretentious progressive (=dull) parts that so many self-important musicians fall into. The production is slightly overdone though. You can tell that this is a clean studio product. The sound is massive! In spite of that, the level of aggressiveness is more than acceptable.
The melodic guitar riffs makes this more than just brutal
noise. Listen to the magical track Of This Spell! Bren's vocals are
mostly standard growls, but, if that is possible to distinguish at all,
among the better I've heard of that kind. Sounds very promising, and
not too different from my personal Australian favorites, Mortification,
although with a bit less prominent bass guitar. This is a band I will
keep my eyes and ears on in the future.