Deadly Inscription – A Testament To Sin CD Review28th February 2016 0 By Fraser
My first experience of Deadly Inscription was catching them live at Upload 2014 – an all-day gig in Dundee. The first thing you notice about Deadly Inscription is their enthusiasm. There was maybe a few dozen people there when they started their set, but they came on stage with the same energy and enthusiasm as a band playing the main stage at Download. And that’s something I feel is really important for younger bands (I say “younger” from the ripe old age of 19…) to do, to play with the same level of skill, professionalism and excitement whether there’s 10 people in a room, or ten thousand in a field. With two EPs and a single already under their belt, Deadly Inscription are kicking off 2016 with their third EP A Testament To Sin – and undoubtedly this is their best yet!
A Testament To Sin opens with Subservient, a largely fast paced and groove-laden song that kicks things off properly – there’s no atmospheric build up, no symphonic arrangement, just riffs and double bass. This speed and focus on rhythm continues for much of Subservient, before things take a bit of a Southern feel in the riffs and lead guitar work for the final moments. Subservient does feature some clean vocals, and while they are certainly not bad and the added melody does create a new dimension in the song, I feel they could be better. For me, Subservient is the weakest track on the EP.
The Taxidermist opens with melodic guitar work over a meaty breakdown which leads nicely into more of the fast, hard-hitting riffing Deadly Inscription demonstrated on Subservient. The music here as a more sinister feel to it, and the screams and growls feel stronger. This is easily one of the most enjoyable tracks on the EP, definitely a must listen. Track number three, Tower of Silence, opens with an excellent riff, and on the whole it has a very similar feel to it that The Taxidermist does. Strong riffs, drum work and vocals are featured throughout, and at ominous, sinister atmosphere is present.
Next up, Deadly Inscription move onto Hellion Rising, which kicks off with lone vocals before the meaty riffs pick up. The clean vocals here feel much stronger than they did on Subservient, and again the strong riff work creates an evil atmosphere. Many aspects of the track are simply fantastic, but my biggest problem with Hellion Rising is a few of the riffs are a little too chug focused, and the breakdown in the middle feels somewhat forced in comparison to the breakdown at the end of the song. If the band had focused more on lead-guitar work, or the slightly more imaginative riff work seen a’plenty in other places of the EP, Hellion Rising would be a rival to The Taxidermist for best track for sure!
The Gravedigger’s Oath is the final track on the EP, and another strong one. Again packed with strong riffs, with an interesting arrangement and a powerful vocal performance, The Gravedigger’s Oath is simply a great song to finish the EP off with. The guitar solo towards the end is brilliant, and the atmospheric work that closes the track is simply fantastic, though short-lived. My complaint again, is that some of the riffs are far too chuggy. And it’s not that the band cannot write and play interesting, strong riffs – we see them all-over this EP, though that makes the simplistic open riffs stand out all the more, and make them seem much weaker in comparison.
A Testament To Sin is the defining release from the Glaswegian five-piece – it is heavier than all that came before, it is more catchy and melodic than all that came before and it features better song-writing and more technical musicianship than all that came before. The clean vocals do need some work, and the abundance of chug-focused riffs is extremely frustrating as interesting, fun guitar work is seen consistently throughout, and the chuggy riffs feel like a lazy addition. This would be my only criticism, however, as the musicianship, vocal deliveries and lyrics are, on the whole, stronger than ever and make for fantastic listening. If this is a taste of what Deadly Inscription have planned for the future, then they certainly have my attention.
2. The Taxidermist
3. Tower of Silence
4. Hellion Rising
5. The Gravediggers Oath
26th February 2016
For Fans of…
Trivium, All That Remains, Heart of a Coward
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About the author
This bearded wildman from North of the wall survives the harsh ever-present winter of Scotland on a healthy diet of thrash, death metal and beer.