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Death Warrant | ‘Hate Infected Mind’

It’s always nice when a band emerges with a clear view of who they are and what they want to do. If nothing else, it skips a few steps on the ladder – and makes for a demo that’s almost safe to listen to. Well, it’s better than the usual mix of confusion and naiveté anyway.

Death Warrant impress immediately with the density of their sound. It’s thick, unrelenting and presses along full of Swedish guitar chunk. Those Haunted shirts put the bands main influence quite literally on their sleeves, especially in regard to the vocal delivery. But it’s that band’s forbears who’ve really set the agenda here.

Granted we’re used to hearing At The Gates spin offs these last few years, and usually in a much emasculated form. So while we’re all trying to come to terms with that one, it’s refreshing to hear a band who’ve stuck not to the Swede’s melody – but their oft overlooked quotient of vintage death metal.

Death Warrant need work on their frequently out of breath vocals, and perhaps the lyrics could do with a tweak as well. A bit more certainty in the delivery, and bit more surety in what they’re saying, could result in some pretty intense work here. As it stands though, it’s good, and the slight crust on the guitar keeps it solidly underground.

In comparison to the likes of Coldwar, Driven Assault, Residual Effect and other locals ploughing this furrow, Death Warrant easily hold their own. Tracks like ‘Betrayed’ hanker back to At The Gates ‘Under A Serpent Sun’ and that’s no bad thing – nice touches like the odd clean vocal improve matters as well. Surprisingly heavy and with a seriously approached, dark melody, Death Warrant have done very well here. Highly above average.

Earl Grey ::: 17/06/2008

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