Over the years Unique Leader Records has been one of the premier underground metal labels to provided the necessary exposure for extreme brutal/technical Death Metal. In the past, the label has been home to killer acts: SPAWN OF POSSESSION, PSYCHROPTIC, and DEEDS OF FLESH. The solid foundation the label has provided is a mere testament to what kind of potential new comers BENEATH must have in order to be picked up by Unique Leader. The bar is set rather high and it takes a band that really stands out in the scene in order to grasp the attention of Unique Leader.
The Icelandic crew started out in late 2007 and finalized their lineup in November 2008, previously “cutting their teeth” in other bands prior to joining BENEATH. The band has shown strong progress in their short career as they became the first Icelandic band to perform at the Wacken Open Air Festival in August 2009. Musically speaking, they have released one EP Hollow Empty Void in 2010 and recently released their debut Enslaved By Fear via ULR. So lets get right into the mix and see what these guys bring to the table.
Lets start with the obvious, they play a very brutal technical form of death metal and are good at what they do. The drums are spot on and deliver the right amount of speed to provide the backbone for this extreme machine. While I think they have a great production sound, the one downside was that the drums felt like they were over produced and were given the “spotlight”over the rest of the instruments. The brutality is furthered by the intense guitar work by Unnar and Johann, a nice wall of sound in each track and well-thought-out riffs really showcase the musicianship. Great bass sound too, think of IMMOLATION and you have a clear idea of music. The vocals are your typical DM vocals and seem to be limited at times throughout the album, however, they get the job done for the necessities of the album.
I would recommend the tracks “As Gods Walk The Earth” and “War Torn” as they quickly come to mind and are some brutal jams. Overall this is a very good record and will give you your fix of brutal/technical DM if it has been awhile since your last. I think these guys will definitely be part of the future of Death Metal for years to come and it is great to see Unique Leader still reaching out and finding the next generation of bands that will carry the torch for the scene.