Indianapolis, Indiana’s destructively raging, whiskey-hoarding five-piece known as Deadmen (featuring members of Demiricous, Coffinworm and The Dream Is Dead among others) began carving their place into Indy’s hardcore/punk/metal scene in the summer of 2008. Thankfully, they continue to drive their message home with a sound drenched in an intoxicating cocktail of influences ranging from Tragedy and Black Sabbath to Darkthrone, Celtic Frost, Danzig and more. The band has just unleashed the follow-up to their 2009 3-song demo with an equally-bruising seven-inch release. Possession of the Void features cover art by tattoo artist Dusty Neal, who has also done design work for Coffinworm. The record was recorded by the band’s own Carl Byers (aka Clandestine Arts) and features four thrashing numbers that continue where the demo left off and then some.
The title track (and also the record’s longest, at just over three minutes) starts things off with a sound those familiar with the band will embrace, yet also features a bit of a new flavor, vocally, which, to this reviewer, is a grand addition to the Deadmen assault. Where Nate Olp’s vocal approach on the 2009 demo was largely delivered in a raspy scream/yell fashion, the vocals here (at least on the first half of the record) trade off on occasion for a smoother effect. This is not to say that any amount of the band’s punch is sacrificed. This vocal variety lends itself beautifully to Deadmen’s brand of anarchy. The following track, “The Coming”, carries on that something old/something new formula and steps up the pace a bit with a galloping beat that’s sure to get the horns raised and beer cans emptied with a quickness. The same can be said for “(upside down cross)” and “Your Filth, Your Hate”, which unflinchingly close out the record in a manner that left this reviewer charged up and ready for more. A relentlessly driving force is present in the structure of all four songs found here, and fans of the D-beat set will surely be lured in to join in the ensuing chaos.
It might seem safe to say that Deadmen weren’t really out to blow the roof off with a totally new sound or genre-changing milestone. However, it should definitely be made perfectly damn clear that with Possession of the Void, Deadmen have once again offered up something for everyone, when it comes to fans of heavy, sincere, head-crushing tunes that hand the listener‘s ass to them without a fancy bow or an apology. This band knows exactly what they’re doing if their mission is to get drunk and fuck us all up. You call it evil, Deadmen call it nothing!