Into The Red
Review by Alex on December 9, 2020.
I don't remember much about Heads For The Dead's prior full length album Serpent's Curse though I did hear it was a fairly good album. Probably scammed through a few songs that I thought were cool but there was so much other stuff coming out at the time that it was impossible to keep up to date with the band. However, in a few days they are set to release a follow-up to their 2018 effort through Transcending Obscurity. This release is titled Into The Red, has 12 tracks and spans 46 minutes. And in comparison to Serpent's Curse, this latest album, regardless of if other great releases are out there; Into The Red does not take a back-seat and compels you to rank it amongst the best for the year.
Off the bat this album kicks ass, the musicianship here is very dynamic and alot more memorable than on Serpent's Curse, that mind you was not a bad album, it just didn't manage to maintain interest for longer periods in comparison to Into The Red. That in a sense is sort of ironic when you factor in the run-times of both releases; Serpent's Curse was 35 minutes; Into The Red is 45 minutes, hence it would seem more realistic that the shorter album would call for repeated listens and maintain your attention; however even though there's been a 10 minute increase for Into The Red, it has proven to be a more interesting and rewarding album as a result of its compositions. Tracks here are very diverse from each other and flow well; they also pack a punch and feature enough great parts to keep you listening many times over.
You can tell from the very first song 'Into The Red' that Heads For The Dead are on a mission to outdo their last recording in all aspects musically. And that's the way it should be if a band is to progress and reach new heights in their music. Featuring black metal tremolo picking, groovy doom metal esque transitions, meaty thumps at the drum kit and vocals that sound a lot more resonating this time around, you feel as though the guys really put their.... you know...... heads down and merged their experience to craft something that will be hard to let go of even for the most decorated of death metal fanatics. Then the tempo takes a turn into the face of aggression on 'The Coffin Scratcher' with vicious blast beats, and murderous riffing to merge with the already clobbering death metal vocals. Off to a killer start already and it only gets better.
Also it should be noted that Heads For The Dead do an exceptional job of giving the tracks featured on Into The Red a theatrical feel of sorts, so you get the impression you're listening to the theme music of some sickening event that took place. I found this happening with most pieces; for instance on 'Horror Injection', 'The Seance' and 'Multi Morbid Maniac' having already been titled live sinister incidents, they feature very musically animated, high-octane sort of compositions that truly immerse you Into The Red. This is for me the big difference between Into The Red and Serpent's Curse. Where the latter faltered in conveying its message and pitching its product, Into The Red is in total contrast to that with every song refusing to let go of you. You get lost in the music for the full 45 minutes and in a way you kind of wish the experience would never end.
Another thing to note is the synth and melody incorporated into most tracks with my favorite being 'Multi Morbid Maniac' seamlessly webbing those two elements with blissful impact and sort of sets the tone for closing tracks 'Transilvanian Hunger' and 'Creatures Of The Monolith' in which the former exhibits a catchy primitive riffing structure done with much equanimity and consciousness as to not strangle the death metal aspect though appearing to be a more black metal focused entry. 'Creatures Of The Monolith' on the other hand has a very chest pounding entry and approach, it's like Heads For The Dead had done their damage and decided to make an exit with a warning left behind. Very doomy and groovy but very imposing and intimidating , 'Creatures Of The Monolith' hits like a 10,000 pound hammer that cracks the foundation below your feet and watches you fall into the cavity. And much of this has to do with the rich beefy production that captures every line every note with pin-point precision.
Serpent's Curse was instrumentally sound but felt disconnected and chore-like, Into The Red however, emits a considerably vigorous musical temperature aiding in the material's efficacy thus prompting continuous listening sessions. A remarkable album for Heads For The Dead and an unforgettable experience for death metal supporters.
Rating: 8.6 out of 10166