Condemned - His Divine Shadow (Unique Leader Records)
Release date : March 10th, 2017
Unique Leader Records is synonymous with Death Metal and mostly Brutal Death Metal. They have rosters that represents many American states that produce the best and the worst of the genre. A genre that’s been a bit worn off in the latest years. Between Technical DM and Brutal DM is a plethora of talented musicians and brutalists.
Coming in March this year is the third album by San Diego quartet Condemned. With a revitalized lineup of only original member Steve Crow on guitars comes Tyson Jupin (Vile) behind the kit, Ryan Reidy on the bass guitar and the latest addition Sam Townsley on vocals.
His Divine Shadow is a ten song offering to brutality assaulting riffs, ground punching grooves and an overall Suffocation feel. The fact that this album could have been made twenty years ago is pretty in your face and its lack of originality only compensate for its list of famous collaborators (producer John Haddad, mastered by Alan Douches, cover art by Par Olofsson, logo art by Christophe Szpajdel) on the packaging of this album. Give me a completely black or blood red album but put some fuckin’ great music on it and I’ll be satisfied.
Apart from a great execution of its musicians, this His Divine Shadow is another generic paint by the number Death Metal release that surely would do great live but feels too uninspired to be a ‘’rotationist’’ (read here : an album that enters my late release rotation of good to perfect records).
It might be the effect that Brutal Death Metal isn’t as big as it used to be in the Metal circles and the fact that Dissonant Metal has brought something new and different that this genre has suffered but I think that this album by Condemned is not going to be the next Gatecreeper.