Oozing out of Leeds/London (which are quite a distance apart…) comes death metal act Redacted. They recently released their debut EP Alien Nation which they were kind enough to send to me for review.
Much as the band enjoy the likes of the traditional black/death subject matter (“Satan! Burn the churches! Christians die! WWWAARRGGGGHHH!!”) they’ve decided that this is a cluttered area of the genre and have instead turned themselves more to a horror/sci-fi theme. Ever heard death metal with a James Carpenter-esque twist on the keyboards? I have – and it’s called Redacted.
The band’s bio on their facebook page is worth a read through for humour value, but essentially they’re a two piece (The World Controller and Jon Stormbeard) who share guitar, bass and vocal duties while ably backed up on the drums by a robot called Kit D’Batterie. A session bassist is used for live acts. They also seem quite mad.
Citing influences from Hypocrisy to Slayer to Katatonia, the eight tracks (including bonuses) on Alien Nation are nicely varied. Vocal styles are mainly harsh, death metal growls with some more traditional thrash stylings. Much could be said of the music, which owes as much to early Metallica as it does to early Obituary.
Production is nicely “self-produced” – a little lacking in places, but obviously put together with a love for the project rather than a huge budget. As I’ve said before in previous reviews for similar styles of music, though, this takes nothing away from the enjoyment. Self-financed releases should be rough around the edges. How else are you going to release a big-budget re-recording in twenty years once you’re signed to a major label otherwise? ;)
The six original tracks on here are all pretty angry, with some good lyrics and twists. Opener “Truth is a Right, not a Privilege” is a nice bit of conspiracy theory overlaid with multiple samples ripped from news broadcasts. Tracks 2-6 are more traditional fair, though with the occasional hint at electronica. Most notable for the addition of beeps and the like is “Skywatchers”, and the extra notes do give a sci-feel to proceedings.
“Black Shuck” is not a Darkness cover, it just happens to share a title and lyrical theme. However, the final two (bonus) tracks are very much covers, and the second in particular is superb. Motorhead’s “Damage Case” is track 7, but the final song is a medley of classic Sepultura music which runs for over eight minutes and is the perfect end to the EP.
For what started as a joke project, Redacted have created a handful of pretty damned good songs and they’re offering them to you for the price of… well, whatever you’re willing to pay. Go listen to them and grab the tracks on bandcamp now.