Twenty years?! Has it really been two decades since Dew-Scented roared into the thrash world with their dirty, deathly brand of jarring brutality? Well, happy birthday lads – and nice of you to celebrate by bunging us a wee gift in the shape of “Insurgent”.
Three new tracks commence this monster and it’s as if they can do this stuff in their sleep. ‘Confronting Entropy’ does not fuck about – riff, riff, drums, more riffs, shouting, done. This is what they have done so well for so long, and part of what baffles me as to why they are not huge. Faultless delivery and a timely reminder that some bands don’t do ‘filler’ on albums. ‘Guided By The Dead Light’ is delightfully old school and grimy, and then we’re treated to a very faithful cover of the Incubus gem ‘Sadistic Sinner’.
In lieu of a “greatest hits” re-packaging of the tracks fans already have, we get a slew of live favourites recorded on last year’s tour, with ‘Sworn to Obey’ and ‘Cities Of The Dead’ sounding particularly potent. There is no overdubbing here – just feedback, strings jarring, sweat dripping and ear-piercing volume.
Back to the studio and ‘In Dying Mode’ is a by-numbers chugger that is by no means bad, but perhaps the weaker of the new tracks on offer here. The closing 8 tracks are basically the bonus tracks from the extended editions of their last two albums “Icarus” and “Invocation”, both essential purchases in their own right. A mixture of covers – ranging from a tidy version of Prong‘s ‘Steady Decline’ to Wasted Youth‘s anarchic ‘Good Day For A Hanging’ – and some original material – “Death Of Common Sense” being the real standout of this batch – this is a great round-off to a hefty collection of old, new, borrowed and bruised.