Dead Dark Slide - I Am Dead
Dead Games Records
Gothic/Industrial Metal
5 songs (25' 42")
Release year: 2014
Reviewed by Andy

In the late 90s, the era that the success of Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson had made industrial music about as close to mainstream as it ever came, I visited the college that I eventually attended and happened to stay that night with a die-hard industrial fan -- one who had a lot more dark electronic bands in his collection than just Top 40 hit-makers. To my delight, my host left his vast MP3 collection running on low volume 24/7, resulting in distorted voices whispering a demented lullaby of of hate, suicide, and agony to a background of buzzing electronica and feedback-layered guitars all night. Today I came across Florida-based Dead Dark Slide's latest LP, the quite to-the-point I Am Dead, which would have fit in perfectly on that guy's dorm-room soundtrack -- and is quite likely to appeal to a metal listener.

Like the album cover, the songs capture the essences of 90s-era goth/industrial metal quite well; for one thing, the production is garbage. The Seas Are Black's abrasive guitars power-chord their way alongside an organ-synth keyboard and one of the vilest drum recordings I've ever heard; it sounds like Ryan Michalski, the man behind Dead Dark Slide, is miking garbage can lids and Tupperware bins and then applying a reverb effect to the result. The vocals are harsh and reminiscent of black metal, and so, for that matter, are the guitar riffs. Just Die is more guitar-driven, with a much more repetitive verse, but a melodic chorus filled with a sullen rage that makes it all worth it.

Your Blood Runs Red is a slower marching beat with a cold background of synth chords, but the lyrics aren't as clever and the vocals lose a lot of their effectiveness whenever they're shouted instead of whispered. Summer Never Ends, though still using louder vocals, has a chorus that reduces Michalski's shout to the sort of choked-out scream that one would expect out of Trent Reznor, making it one of the better ones on this album. As a closing track, we have Watching You Bleed, sounding in terms of rhythm and song naming scheme like a companion song to Your Blood Runs Red, but this one's a lot more focused; Michalski puts in his finest vocal performance on the track's chorus, and it pays off, making him sound simultaneously menacing and agonized.

I Am Dead's guitar-driven industrial sound isn't for all metal listeners, but fans of lo-fi black metal will enjoy this, as well as fans of Ministry, a clear influence of theirs. The driving power and atmosphere of the songs is only enhanced by the poor production and rarely stumbles on any track.

Killing Songs :
Just Die, Summer Never Ends
Andy quoted 82 / 100
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