The band Green Death doesn’t know it yet, but we’ve been on one heck of an adventure together over the last two weeks. It is the end of December, and every year at this time I, like so many other people, look back at all of the great music that contributed to destroying my eardrums this year. I was just about ready to call it a day on 2013, and was already looking forward to what the new year has in store, when all of the sudden my main man Myron asked me if I wanted to check out this band out of Des Moines, Iowa, called Green Death, and their new album “The Deathening?” I happily agreed.
After my first go around with the album, I knew I enjoyed it, but I rarely write a review after just one listen, so my ears made an appointment with my headphones for early next morning. Not so fast! On December 22nd, I was awakened by the sounds of branches crashing around my house caused by a huge ice storm, which eventually caused thousands of people in the Lansing, Michigan area, including me, to lose power. With the temperature and trees still falling, the family and I decided to abandon ship. Later the following day I had my first opportunity to slip on headphones again and soak in what “The Deathening” has to offer.
The opening track, “From the Depths,” gives us the guttural sounds of a creature trapped in the sewers calling out for blood. The next track, “Green Death,” is a 1:13 thrash metal lightning strike and a warning from vocalist Sol “Bates” Bale of the monster to come. The album is shredded with amazing guitar riffs from start to finish by lead guitarist Erich Tran, rhythm guitarist Mark “Sparky” Reinking and bassist Parker Willis. From the old school thrash in “Split the Skies” to the grinding slower pace of “Skeleton Man,” to the short brutal death metal “Possessions,” featuring the backing vocals of former lead vocalist of Slipknot, Anders Colsefni.
“The Devils Hand/Bathed in Black” shows the band’s range by slowing down the pace with a taste of doom and gothic metal. “S.T.B.,” aka Split the Basket, is a tribute to the band’s local favorite restaurant “Zombie Burger.” I have to check this place out and order a Walking Ched Burger and an Undead Guy BBQ Burger.
Now, if the first half of the album sounds good, the 2nd half left such an impression on me that it haunted my dreams. Let me explain: On Xmas day I was hit hard with the flu, and the only thing that felt good for the next three days was sleep. While in dreamland there were times I was running through hallways with the blasting beat drumming of Erich Tran in the background, all the while being chased by “Death Monks.” If that wasn’t scary enough, I must have had the imagery of the album cover stuck in my head. It depicts a massive ktulu like creature on the verge of destroying skyscrapers, and I was some how placed in the middle of the city with nowhere to hide and debris falling all around. All I could remember when I awoke from my nightmare, sitting in the dark, was the heavy as hell thrashing and the bloodthirsty assault to my ears in “Creature Feature” and the title track “The Deathening.” I closed my eyes wishing for sleep to transport me back to the nightmare realm.
Eight and a half days later, the power has been restored to my neighborhood and I feel 90% better. “The Deathening” is still in heavy rotation on my ipod because Green Death offers up an incredible range of Thrash, Death, Doom and Punk. The song “Green Death” warned listeners of lurking monsters. Well I’m here with a warning that GREEN DEATH AWAITS YOU ALL!