WITH THE DEAD Love From With The Dead

Album · 2017 · Doom Metal
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3.5/5 ·
I wasn’t sure if the eponymous debut album released by With The Dead in 2015 might have turned out to be a one off, especially with former Cathedral mainman Lee Dorrian having his hands full running his Rise Above Records label. Anyway I’m pleased to see them back with album number two though this time minus former Electric Wizard drummer Mark Greening leaving guitarist Tim Bagshaw the only former member of that band left. In comes drummer Alex Thomas and bassist Leo Smee.

Love From With The Dead pretty much picks things up using the same template as their debut. In other words crushingly heavy doom metal – all fuzzy guitars and a bottom end so heavy it’s a wonder the stylus managed to stay in the grooves on my vinyl copy. First impressions are of little growth from the debut with opener Isolation’s slow and heavy crawl sounding pretty much like most of it. Egyptian Tomb ups the tempo slightly whilst maintaining the same sonic qualities. Initially I felt a bit disappointed with the riffs lacking memorability and it all seeming a bit one dimensional as doom sometimes can. However after a few plays the songs started to take hold with some decent melodies buried in the murk with some compelling guitar riffs and motifs taking hold. Whilst occasionally the songs outstay their welcome there’s generally enough in the way of subtle changes to maintain the interest. Watching The Ward Goes By sees a deviation from the generally cacophonous nature of most the material opening with cleanly strummed guitars and tom toms very low in the mix with Dorrian adopting a spoken word vocal. As expected it eventually explodes though with a funeral doom pace.

Most of the songs are pretty long, the shortest being Reincarnation Of Yesterday at 6:25, but nothing comes close to CVI which at 17:35 closes the album. It’s a slow burn into the realms of funeral doom pace once more. It meanders along somewhat aimlessly doing little to justify its length and it’s a bit of a relief when it’s over. It could have said all it had to say in half the length so a slightly disappointing close to the album.

Love From With The Dead is considerably longer than the debut and whilst it’s often very good, sometimes excellent, a bit of editing could have produced an album that matched the debut. As it is, it outstays its welcome somewhat with that final track and although it’s good to have them back I can see myself returning to the debut more than this.

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