1-14 - Music Review: JOIN THE DEAD - Join The Dead

Join The Dead
Roxx Records

Join The Dead is a band that consists mostly of former members of Deliverance and Fasedown, and if you know anything about those two bands, then that should be enough to get you interested in this particular release to begin with. You can actually stop reading here and go directly to whatever source of music buying you use to find and purchase this self-titled four-song EP, and I wouldn’t blame you whatsoever for doing so. However, if you’re reading this and have no idea what I’m talking about, I would be remiss to not go on and explain to you why you really need to pick up this release.

As mentioned above, Join The Dead is really a four-song EP that was originally released by the band as a promotional-only CD. However, Roxx Records had the good idea to release it to the general public, both as a digital download of the four-song EP, and as a physical release that features the EP, plus 11 extra tracks of demos and a live cut from each of the band members’ collective past. For all intents and purposes, I’ll be covering the deluxe physical release.

The first four songs (“Mask Of Fear”, “Out Of Breath”, “Self-Inflicted Pain”, “Idol Faith”) are from Join The Dead EP, and boy howdy, if you decided to just stop with those four and call it good, I would not blame you whatsoever. These songs are fantastic thrashy Testament-inspired HEAVY METAL the likes of which we need more of. They’re heavy, they have a good groove and can hit speeds that will rearrange your spine if you’re not too careful, with vocals that are delivered with a hardcore attitude and a thrash attack. I did note, though, the song “Idol Faith” seems to have co-opted a bit of the Deliverance tune “Self-Monger” that’s a bit too uncanny to be a mere coincidence. Whatever. They’re fantastic, and I want a full-length full of more of this. It’s been four years now.

Moving to the bonus stuff, we have two songs from the Decadence demo from 1989 (“Killing Disorder”, “Disgraced”) that are 1980s style hardcore punk; three songs from the Testimony demo from 1991 (“Blinded”, “Strings Of The World”, “In The Dark”) that are thrash that kind of suffers from some bad production quality; an instrumental from Michael Phillips (“Sea Of Glass”), three songs from the Synagog demo in 1995 (“Existent”, “Steps Of Mankind”, “Idol Faith”) and a Fasedown demo from 1999 (“Hallow”), then it caps off with a live rendition of “In U” by Deliverance.

Overall, I would say that, whether you go with just the four-song Join The Dead EP, or get the Roxx Records physical CD with all the extra goodies, you’re going to come out of this satisfied. I really hope this is just a taste of things to come, and not a one-off project.