Dark Redeemer – Into the Deep Black

Hutch checks out Italian Death metallers Dark Redeemer and their new album…

Piling on with the blatant Swedeath worship are Italian veterans ‘Dark Redeemer’.  Their debut LP ‘Into the Deep Black’ comes off their 20+ year career as atmospheric/progressive death metal behemoth ‘Aleph’ – named Metal Hammer’s ‘new Italian band of the year’ in ’06 – whereby having stripped back all the progressive elements of the band’s previous form leaves them sounding more straightforward than ever.   9 tracks over a 45 minute run-time translates to some serious meat for any fan of classic death metal to sink their teeth into, and with the members’ previous efforts showing a clear proficiency in the songwriting department, there’s no doubt that ‘Into the Deep Black’ is on the long list of solid metal releases of 2021.

In essence, the core components of ‘Into the Deep Black’ are the raw violence a la anything that came out of Sunlight Studios in the early 90s (Grave, Entombed, Carnage or Dismember… you get the point) and psychotic precision with the structures and nuances of the coexisting US scene (Morbid Angel, Immolation etc.).  These styles collide and thus set Dark Redeemer apart from other bands whose sole purpose is to release Left Hand Path 2 (not that anyone’s complaining though), where the D-beat and hardcore influences are scrapped with the aim of going from hard to harder with flurries of blast beats and descents into filthy old-school breakdown sections.

Trackwise all the songs take a similar approach and meander through a frenzy of savage riffing with some repeated sections without resembling a strict verse-chorus structure.  Riffs will revolve around the pounding thrash beat and will transition to halftime grooves with keyboard laden intricacies scattered throughout to create some seriously eerie moments.  Lead single and opener TMC gives a taste of all these elements in its blisteringly fast thrashy intro, blast beat transitions and groovy chorus section that makes great use of a haunting keyboard melody in a ‘Testimony of the Ancients’ fashion.  ‘The Zombiemarch’ is also of note being the main consistently mid-paced track, which really helps to break up the rest of the album and keep it from turning into a giant blur of speedy riffs with no sense of memorability.  The highlight however has got to be ‘Killing Ritual’.  A 4 count on a whipcrack of a snare straight into an unmistakably Dismember esque thrashy pummelling is an instant recipe for success.

‘Into the Deep Black’ as a whole walks a fine line between carefully constructed and rabidly chaotic, where the ultimate goal is to mix the best bits of two of the most distinct death metal scenes.  The savagery in the simplicity of the Scandinavian tremolo riffs under the thrash beat and the devastatingly heavy mid-paced sections and creative flair from the US makes for some quality death metal.  Sure ‘Remains’ and ‘Grotesque Deity’ are following Swedeath worship more closely, but listeners that aren’t such big fans of hardcore will appreciate Dark Redeemer stripping back anything that isn’t pure death metal and cramming elements of yes… more death metal in its place.  The only gripe I have with this record is that despite the beauty of the cranked HM-2 sound, the tone comes out fairly wispy and thin.  This is remedied however by listening on different speakers or just turning up the bass, but I listen to music with all the EQ cranked all the way up anyway.

Dark Redeemer – Into the Deep Black was released on the 24/09/21 on Blasphemous Records

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