Cast from heaven...
Genre: old school death metal
They say that the second album is always difficult and that it is rarely as good as the debut. Well, I gotta tell you that the Danish death metal act Deus Otiosus did not have this problem, as their second album "Godless" is much better than their debut (and their debut was very good).
If you have read our interview with the band, you know that they are an old school death metal band, and old school death metal is what you get here. And not just old school death metal but fucking awesome old school death metal performed by skilled musicians who know exactly what they want. "Godless" strikes me as being considerably more thrash-oriented than their debut (the opening track "Snakes of the Low" is an all out death-thrash attack), as Deus Otiosus successfully make a snapshot of what death metal sounded like in its very early days back when it was in the transition from thrash metal into becoming death metal. Thus is one of the aspects that I really like about this album, and fans of very early death metal acts like Obituary, Necrophagia, and Sepultura are bound to love this album.
But Deus Otiosus are more than just a retro band, as the production is totally up-to-date and, in addition to a couple of modern elements such as blastbeats, the Danes are not afraid to incorporate elements from other extreme metal genres into their overall sound. Thus 'Snakes of the Low' features some quite black metal-oriented elements that pop up side-by-side with old school death and thrash riffage (this also applies to 'Pest Grave' although this one is more of a blend of Stockholm-oriented death metal and speed metal). 'In Harms Way' is another almost thrashy death metal track which has the same sort of marching drive as Cianide's 'Curse of the Dead'. 'Surrounded by the Dead' and the waltzy and almost strangely psyhedelic 'Death Dance' (which is probably the most original track on the album) belong in the heavier department, and, although fundamentally uptempo, 'Face the Enemy' features a couple of heavy grooves, too, while 'Cast from Heaven' features some melodic blackened-death oriented guitar figures some of which even have a strange kind of neoclassical feel to them.
Listening to the album, there can be no doubt that the five musicians are very experienced, and the crisp production should appeal to fans of more modern metal. This does not mean that the album sounds sterile at all - the more organic feel that characterized many early death metal releases has also found its way onto this album.
Old school death metal taken in a direction towards originality, Deus Otiosus' sophomore album should appeal to fans of death metal the way it sounded in its very early days, but those who like modern day old school metal to be more than just retro should definitely also find this album very attractive.
In short, Deus Otiosus' "Godless" is a treat for any fan of old school death metal.