Not even a year ago, the most recent effort by Dr. Living Dead would drop, and would prove to show that maybe they should have waited a little longer between releases, like the previous two. Instead, with a year between Cosmic Conqueror and Crush The Sublime Gods, this one seems rather rushed, and lacks the memorability of previous releases. Not to say that the music is bad, but there certainly could have been some improvement, and the brilliant songwriting moments are few and far throughout the forty one minute run time.
The overall style is very similar to Crush The Sublime Gods, with their brand of ripping thrash riffs being the main formula and in no way resurrecting the crossover and punk overload that was present on early releases. With that one being such a masterpiece, it was a great disappointment that this one couldn’t hold up to it. The vocals are a bit different, and actually deliver pretty well. Rather a classic vibe, they have a bit more of a newer, Municipal Waste-esque punch to them. Sadly though, the gang vocals that worked wonders before are no longer present. All of the instrumentation is rather on point, and the production is fine, but again, there’s nothing standing out about it. It mostly sounds like leftover riffs and ideas that were scrapped before, then thrown together to rush a new release.
An exception to all of this is the track “Moment of Clarity”, which is an excellent, more melodic and mid-paced track with the cleanest and most thorough singing that this band has ever done. It ends off with a crushing thrash outro. Not a ballad, but very much friendlier than anything else. A lot of people like to bash bands for going softer or changing significantly, but it would get boring if bands didn’t do that, and I always love such changes. If the next record waits a few more years for development, and channels this style into an entire new idea, it’s bound to be an excellent record. Call me crazy, but I think Dr. Living Dead is due for a “black album”. This one’s worth picking up, but not really an essential buy.
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