Band Line Up:
Richard Ashton – Vocals
Starash – Guitar
Navar – Guitar
See-King – Drums
Owen Padfield – Bass
01. Dark Passenger
02. Horrifying Pattern of the Mind
03. Burning Shadows
04. Lost in the Darkness
05. Human Condition
06. Testimony of the Fallen
07. Plague Bringer
Dying Vision are not fucking about on The Death And Its Slaughter
The force with which opening track, Dark Passenger rips its way from the speakers is enough to make even the most reluctant metal head sit up, take notice and throw the horns.
The band aren’t wasting any time either. Moving through the gears from a majestic gallop to a rapid-fire blast in approx 60 seconds, the first track takes very little time to reach the level of lacerating intensity that defines this sort of melodic death metal. It’s impressive from the start.
By bringing in some percussive bounce on, Horrifying Pattern Of The Mind the band demonstrate there is more going on here than just raw aggression, Dying Vision clearly have a grasp of dynamics and there is an undeniable groove that pulls the listener in and helps the savage riffs to find traction. Credit here must go to drummer, See-King, who showcases significant power and agility but never at the expense of being able to dig in and drive these songs were it counts. The Burning Shadows Of Memories is a great example of this; here he alternates his double bass drum attack with an atmospheric marching rhythm on the snare drum. It shows a real understanding of the character and drama of the song.
In a similar way, vocalist, Richard Ashton infuses his performance with conviction. Even delivering a chilling spoken word passage on Testimony Of The Fallen. The dark subjects of each song are brought to life by his committed delivery and enhanced by the inspired guitar work of guitarists, Navar and Starash.
Across The Death And Its Slaughter, both six stringers prove themselves to be capable and varied in their approach. On Lost Within The Darkness they use subdued arpeggios to create a gloomy atmosphere, but effortlessly flip this into some of the album’s most brutally intense riffs. Their solos are tastefully delivered, full of melody but so obviously played with skill and impressive flair. This is undoubtedly a band of top tier musicians.
Giving his own account of the album, Ashton explains: “‘The Death And Its Slaughter’ is about death and the forms that have represented it. For example, in personification and the ceremonies such as weighing of a soul. Such metaphors appear in the historical accounts from superstitious citizens.”
He goes on to reference the album’s first single: “Part of the song ‘Plague Bringer’ was inspired by one (account) from the catastrophic bubonic plague (or ‘black death’ as it became known) that referred to citizens inviting death to relieve them from suffering – hence the lyric ‘I hear you calling my name’. The global pandemic that emerged recently has made this song an apt choice for our first release and it bears relevance today in relation to the fear of dying, resignation in the face of death and surrounding superstitions or misinformation.”
The song he refers to is a muscular grind that closes the album. The band shift back and forth from a rhythmic pulse to accelerated thrash tempos, Ashton’s voice soars and swoops on the chorus, effortlessly moving from a deep death metal roar to snarling sludge howl. Starash and Navar (with Owen Padfield holding down the low end) come together wonderfully on the final staccato riff and end the album with a tightly delivered punctuation point.
The Death And Its Slaughter is a breathtaking collection of songs delivered with confidence and with a clear passion for heavy music. It is difficult to argue with Ashton himself who describes the release as: “something that we feel really tells a story on each track. We have infused our different characters and created something that we feel truly encompasses what and who we are.”