Undrask - Battle Through Time
Self Release
Melodic Death Metal
10 songs (49' 6")
Release year: 2017
Reviewed by Andy
Surprise of the month

Once in a while, out of the blue, you get a debut album that sounds like the band ought to be on their third or fourth in terms of experience level. Such an album is Undrask's Battle Through Time, a smooth, coiling affair with a razor-wire edge. I can't recall hearing melodeath done with this level of mastery in quite a while.

Everyone pulls their weight, but the band's strength is in its guitar work. Sharp, thrashy rhythm riffs pair with a diamond-sharp lead, twisting into ever more complex patterns as the songs progress -- and holding everything every so often for some good old-fashioned solo shredding. Lead guitarist Erik Collier's virtuoso performance is the most noticable, but his partner on rhythm has enough headbangable moments in his riffing to guarantee that even when the soloing isn't melting your face, the vibrato alone on some of these licks is fantastic, especially on Champion of the Dawn, a particularly nice showcase of the band's riffing powerhouse. Undrask knows how to vary the songs, too, never letting any track get too repetitive in its rhythm or sound too much like another; from thrashing technical wizardry, a song will jump to plodding marches for the headbangers in the crowd.

There's a vague concept-album approach described by the band, and if you can't make heads or tails of it (I couldn't), you can at least revel in the violence of the lyrics, short tales of zombies, vampires, and magic warhammers growled out by vocalist Steve Wynn, in a melodeath-friendly style similar to Amon Amarth's Johan Hegg. But thanks to the musicianship exhibited here, the songs could be about waiting in line in the supermarket and they'd still be high on the best-of list for 2017. Listeners to classic melodeath bands such as Children of Bodom or In Flames need to grab this one.

Killing Songs :
All of them
Andy quoted 88 / 100
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