DEAD HEAD Album Review: “Shadow Soul”

DEAD HEAD
“Shadow Soul”
Album Review by Iron Mathew

8/10

Dead Head are a thrash metal band from the Netherlands formed in 1989, releasing eight albums and two E.P.’s during a lengthy thirty five year career…

…’Shadow Soul’ the bands most recent release (emerging in 2024) featuring eight songs over a fast and feisty twenty eight minutes! And if you’re a fan of the raw brutality and all out aggression of bands such as Slayer, Sadus, Kreator, and Dead Head’s fellow Dutch thrashers Project Pain, you’re gonna fucking love these guys – scientists and nutritionists everywhere declaring cauliflower, broccoli and sprouts should never be eaten raw! Yet in the case of thrash metallers Dead Head, the band are at their devastating best when consumed raw!

So get ready for a pummelling with tonnes of head bang ability as ‘Shadow Soul’ explodes into life with the all out ferocity of ‘Litany Of The Weak’ – the level of savagery much greater than the iconic shower scene where Marion Crane (portrayed by actress Janet Leigh) is brutally stabbed to death with a knife in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 horror film Psycho! Dead Head are even more menacing than Psycho’s main protagonist Norman Bates (portrayed by actor Anthony Perkins), growling and howling with an unnaturally high vicious intent – the album roaring on with the thunderous ‘Serpents Of Fame’. And the emergence of a mighty heavy foot stomp, the kinda foot stomp that shudders the ground and devastates landscapes! The band do change gear a few times though, ‘Serpents Of Fame’ continually switching from foot stomping to all out pace and back again.

An absolutely terrifying opening brace from the Dutch thrashers, ‘Shadow Soul’ marches on with the frightening ‘Caverns Of Fate’ – the vocal performance scaring many listeners into running for cover! Dead Head are sinister here, the levels of menace and terror reaching new heights – heights which are gonna be intolerable for some! But for those of us with a thick skin and a hardened resistance to thrash metal of the most brutal kind, we’re standing toe-to-toe and nose-to-nose with the band, willing them to hit us with more! Much more! And hit us they do with ‘Defiance’ – a cacophony of traditional heavy metal’s iconic gallop and thrash metal aggression, Dead Head serving up a genre hopping two minute instrumental that’s gonna attract both metallers and thrashers to the bands soundscape! A soundscape that erupts in a thunderous ball of fire and brimstone courtesy of the high velocity ‘The Age Of Hype’ – the energy level rising much higher than the Zalmhaven tower (in Rotterdam).

And as ‘Shadow Soul’ marches on, the band once again turn sinister – ‘The Run’ featuring scowling vocals over a backdrop of mid paced menace! For all of the first minute and a half! And then all hell breaks fucking loose, ‘The Run’ turning on its heels and hurtling forth at incredible speed – Dead Head revelling in constant changes of pace, savagery and brutality! I tell ya readers, to keep up with this band is gonna take all of your metal prowess and ardent attention, along with flexible muscles for all the neck breaking head banging you’ll be doing! The band have really got the bit between their teeth right now, steaming ahead at full throttle with ‘Opulent Disruption’, the menace and venom oozing outta ‘Opulent Disruption’ hotter than lava pouring out of an erupting volcano! And with just one song to go, ‘Shadow Soul’ ends way too quickly – the replay button the only button to press! Do not under any circumstances press either the stop or eject buttons – replay, press the replay button and go again for a right royal thrashing! But just before you do, ‘Dark Emptiness’ offers two minutes of relaxation and recovery from the all out assault of the last twenty six minutes! So gear up readers and press replay – you won’t be disappointed!

Overall, a searing rampage of savage thrash metal, full of brutally, menace and an immensely high level of head bang ability.

TRACKLIST

Litany of the Weak
Serpents of Fame
Caverns of Fate
Defiance
The Age of Hype
The Run
Opulent Disruption
Dark Emptiness

https://deadhead.nl/
https://www.facebook.com/Deadheadthrash

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