Escape from the murky depths of Ritual Executions is impossible. Coiling and twisting, the music crawls through the gloom to snare the listener into a hypnotic daze. The abyss is rife with infernal bellows; the raw setting is toxic to the soul; the rhythmic beats call for the mandatory sacrifice. Ritual Executions is part Death Metal, part Doom Metal and part obscure. It is where The Dead come to life.
Ritual Executions song video - www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CRwfyrBfbU
#4 on the best albums of the year list according to staff writer of Last Rites
MetalTeamUK: "It's clearly full marks from me to The Dead for their primal brand of fuzzy, sludgy, grim and hazy transcendent death metal. The Dead should be to seasoned death metal fans what Faustcoven were to seasoned Black Metal fans a few years back a shot in the arm, and a kick in the arse."
Metal Psalter: "The Dead’s second full-length album, Ritual Executions, is just about the grooviest death/doom album I’ve heard in, well, ever. It’s not often that you hear such heaviness blended together with so many riffs on one album, but that is exactly what you’ll find on this album. Aside from a few minor things, Ritual Executions is easily the most fun and grimy album of 2010." 4/5
The Sleeping Shaman: "The Dead have managed to effortlessly spew out some of THE best, most original Death Metal that I've heard in quite some time on 'Ritual Executions', so kudos to THEM and kudos to Diabolical Conquest for being smart enough to rescue this release from the cult oblivion it could SO easily have ended up in."
Heavy Metal Tribune: "While many bands try being innovative through including weird and innovative influences into their music and end up sounding less than spectacular, The Dead has managed to do this well and it is evident through Ritual Executions. If you are a fan of death/doom metal bands such as Coffins and Acid Witch, and add the fact that I have yet to encounter any Australian band that fails to entertain me, this album is certainly highly recommended." 8.5/10
Born In Blood zine: "Some might say (I know I did) that Autopsy’s 1991 Mental Funeral album was the first Stoner Death Metal album. I mention this because nearly 20 years later we have another one... The Dead are not a Death Metal Band, they play a cutting, exciting, and innovative blend of Stoner, Death Metal and Doom, rarely heard these days. They are that rarest of things, original." 9/10
Doommantia: "Diabolical Conquest Records label is pretty new but has huge potential to be a major force in the underground. The re-mastered version sounds much clearer and crisper so its the version you must seek out to hear the band at its best. If you like Hooded Menace, Ramesses and Toadliquor, you should find this to be a worthy purchase." 8.5/10
Thrashpit: "Regardless of whatever it is or what makes The Dead tick, "Ritual Executions" leaves a lasting impression of being one of the most interesting death metal's pieces recorded in recent memory, and their tasteful dichotomy is bound to vacuum a horde of extreme metal cannibals into their feeding pit of starvation and slow-roasted goodness without any skeletons hiding in the closet. Maybe in the backyard, but certainly not the closet." 86%
Heavy Metal Tribune: "While many bands try being innovative through including weird and innovative influences into their music and end up sounding less than spectacular, The Dead has managed to do this well and it is evident through Ritual Executions." 8.5/10
Corazine: "The Dead, I am happy to say, stand out. This Australian act crashes together the blister gutfuck underground dirt of nasty death metal mayhem with the hook-heavy, psyche-grinding psychedelic stoner metal scene. The fusion is at once odd-and-shocking and totally effective."
Sputnik Music: "The Dead are just another example of Australia’s knack for churning out distinctive death metal – while riding the wave along with bands like Ignivomous, Aethyvorous, Cemetery Urn and Portal, The Dead are stylistically divergent from their geographical contemporaries, and within the confines of death metal as well. Ritual Executions is remarkably accessible on a track by track listen, but its longevity is greatly lengthened as layers from each of the songs are peeled away." 4/5
Nocturnal Cult: "Mike Yee's vocals sound like boulders slowly grinding together...The Dead have managed to trod a familiar path but still breath a sense of devastating morbidity into their music. At times I feel as if I am choking on this albums heaviness."
Brutalism: "From first impressions, this is low end heavy, heavy death with a morbid doom element. Rather than going into Dream Death territories, these Aussies tend to prefer the pure original death metal sound with a morbidly slow pace, and it is this slow pace that gives the music its energy." 4/5
Minacious Webzine: "If you are into Death/Doom Metal this is a must."
Metal-Rules.com: "This album pretty much leaves its listener for gasping for air; so breath taking and ultimately so hard an experience it does offer content-wise, ripping everyone´s face off slowly but so treacherously. Mike Yee´s gut-deep death grunts are some of the most amazing ones I've heard for a long time – and I simply cannot help admiring the guitar's very crisp, down-tuned tone on this record. The whole musical atmosphere that they have succeeded in creating around the content of this record, is really oppressive and disturbing, in a good way. The album works out like a brimstone-filled pathway to your worst nightmares where there is no return from." 3.5/5
Infernal Dominion: "It was a death metal ceremony to my ears and mind, which combined the nauseous qualities of doom and the trance enducing fervor of stoner/sludge which had weaved ghastly components of calamitous disdain. Diabolical Conquest Records have really discovered a bestial horde which can only promise to march ahead in its colossal style. " 9/10
Metalreview: "Our burgeoning battalion of today is fronted by the likes of Funebrarum, Witchrist, Teitanblood, Cemetery Urn, Excoriate (Deu), Ignivomous, and they're all collectively hurling their stony fists directly into the face of all that's spit-shined and punctiliously delivered from the more intricate end of the death metal spectrum. Which fittingly leads me into yet another addition to our Paleolithic Ranks: Australia's purveyors of putridity, The Dead. I'm pleased to see this band forge ahead with each subsequent release to elbow themselves amongst the expanding ranks of furrow-browed Cro-Magnons currently dragging knuckles through the death metal 'scape. Score one for the inaugural release from Diabolical Conquest Records: I say, long live The Dead." 8.1/10
Deaf Sparrow: "The Dead is then a band as skillful at crafting crawling doom songs as they are at shitting out truly brutal death metal." 3.5/5
Voices from the Darkside: "It's not that they wanna sound sludgy, doomy, ugly - they seem to live and feel it and you can see that this is exactly the music they planned to perform. 'Death Metal Suicide’ – an awesome end for an astonishing album. Well done."
Blabbermouth: "Ritual Executions" is like a virulent mutation of doom/sludge and old school death metal; think very generally along the lines of early ELECTRIC WIZARD meets AUTOPSY with gaps bridged by early Stockholm Swede-death, INCANTATION (well, sort of), and GODFLESH minimalism, which still doesn't quite describe it. More to the point, it is 47 minutes across seven often lengthy/stoner-jammy tracks of encrusted, stripped down death metal and sludgy/doomy plod that pops, sizzles, buzzes, and fuzzes through what might as well be vintage tube amps on the verge of blowing. It is the sound of acid melting flesh, hammers bashings skulls, and air being forced through bong water, led by resin-coated subterranean death vocals and accented with coked up, sadistic screams." 7.5/10
Metal Storm: Ritual Executions is Death metal enriched with groove, a slightly drugged-out atmosphere, lavish and trippy solos and a heavy load of Doom for good measure. For the fans of doomy and dirty Death metal as well as groovier, sludgier acts." 8/10
Doom-Metal.com: "There’s Death and Doom, but it’s also crossed with brilliant moments of saving groove (a groovy dimension that transcends the last all instrumental long song ‘Death metal Suicide’ giving it a trance-like atmosphere). The whole thing pulsates like the soundtrack of the Apocalypse."
Hellride Music: "It was so absorbing of my mind and time today that it was in fact the only thing that got listened to today. I rarely get anything that captures me with that amount of pull, so that alone should stand for something to some of you reading this. The mixture of blistering rhythm tempos with the creeping tempo of the gigantic seaslug paced doom riffs definitely comes across as dense and obliterating. This is the stuff that keeps me going and coming back for more, it has balls, volume, groove, and is just plain wicked!!!! OOOOH soooooooo recommended."
Spinal Tapdance: "The album works effectively as a whole because of the band’s strong compositional skills, and the smart sequencing of tracks to alternate between trudging epics and more in-your-face, aggressive death metal blasts... the mélange of styles offered on this record ends up meshing rather well into a unique death metal whole... Diabolical Conquest Records have found themselves a real winner of an album here... get yourself a copy of Ritual Executions for a sledgehammer dose of heavy fucking metal reality." 80%
Wormwood Chronicles: "I'd say The Dead might be onto something with their cross of Asphyx and Ramesses."
The Obelisk: "The headbanger contingent within the weedian genres is relatively small, but a band like The Dead feeds an impulse for brutality that’s downright primal, and to hear Ritual Executions transpose the two sounds onto each other – especially to hear it as well done as it is – is both refreshing and nostalgic at the same time."
Chronicles of Chaos: "Neglecting speed and focusing more on the guitar factor, The Dead deliver a dissonant, almost stoner sounding death metal with riffs you actually can hear. The sound is huge, very dirty and underground, but surprisingly hard hitting and clear, while the vocalist is either a fucking inhuman beast or uses some kind of voice processing effect -- otherwise it's not clear how the hell he manages to deliver the vocals he does... The Dead has recorded an apt and unique an album, which is also one of the heaviest around but also quite melodic at times, as strange as it may seem. Think Black Sabbath playing death metal and you won't miss by much." 7/10
Pest Webzine: "This album is composed of 7 tracks lasting for about 45 minutes of Doomy Death Metal with a dirty, sludgy attitude, an album I have enjoyed a lot. Very catchy tunes, interesting, powerful and fat sounding, with lots of grooves all over. Everyone in the band gives their best and the result is great: old-school Death Metal with a heavy Doom atmosphere and dirty sound."
The Metal Register: "Fans of Australian metal, as well as any fans of death metal with a twist, would do well to get their hands on this album. It's intelligent, it's raw, and most importantly, it's heavier than a pregnant walrus. I'd love to see these guys get some recognition in the future – they've definitely produced an album that's worthy of it." 4/5
Cosmic Lava: "Their strength lies on the one hand in combining powerful grooves with technically demanding rhythms, on the other hand in enriching their death metal basis with a well-developed doom/heavy rock edge. Adam Kelcher's gigantic, swirling, tornadic riffs do not lack brutality and Chris Morse demands respect for top notch drumming. Only vocalist Mike Yee fulfils all death metal standards with his inhuman and guttural growls."
My Last Chapter: "There’s not a moment that’s not infested with a sense of real murky obscurity, not only thanks to the versatile material, but also production-wise. Psychedelic, doomy, sludgy stoner death metal isn’t normally a term I’d use to describe a band’s sound, but based on this album I don’t really know how else to describe The Dead. It’s certainly not for the meek, that’s for sure." 7/10
Degradation of Morality: "The Dead‘s Ritual Executions (Diabolical Conquest, 2010) is a murky, distorted-to-the-brink-of-ruin slab of sludgy death metal with serious nods to doom. The Dead has a unique style, as I can’t think of another band that’s this groovy and grimy all at once. Their riffs, and the album as a whole, are incredibly dense and take a couple of listens to fully explore all of their murky recesses. But it’s time well spent."
Metal Temple: "I surely hope that with “Ritual Executions”, THE DEAD will make their name heard in every part of the metal world. Their death / doom sound and hard work will be their passport to become one of the well known bands in the underground scene and maybe they will make it to the Premier League. Well done lads, but keep both feet on the ground." 7/10
Dark Undergrind Music zine: "Rhythm guitars are very slow doom/stoner metal riffs that combine death metal influences to get a much more heavier sound with some faster riffs being used at times that have a black metal influence at times as for the lead guitars they are used only on the last song and have a stoner rock feel to the guitar solos In my opinion The Dead are a very good brutal stoner/doom/death metal band, and if you are a fan of this style, you should check out this band."
Teeth of the Divine: "Fitting snugly alongside the likes of Grave, Hooded Menace, Runemagick, Autopsy, Coffins, Funerus and such; loping mid-paced lurches meld with a few sloppy blasts filled with sickly cavernous growls. It's all very organic, primitive and natural sounding with nary a triggered blast beat or arpeggio in sight and those wanting a break from the clinical precision of Decrepit Birth and their ilk might do well to check this out."
Minacious Webzine: "It is comprised of 7 tracks of heavy, slow and dark Death Metal from the lowest pits of the abyss. The music is minimalistic and raw, and really fucking slow, which I really like. If you are into Death/Doom Metal this is a must."
Headbangers India: "The Dead aren't human. No, quite the contrary. The Dead are vile creatures, remnants of an ancient race, unknown to man, who crept into the murky depths of the deepest oceans and stayed there for several thousand years until finally surfacing with an album that's just as bloody and dirty as they are. Ritual Executions is the second full length album by the Australian 3 piece deathsquad, released by Mumbai based label Diabolical Conquest Records, and the album decidedly carries influences from their time spent underground; it's dark, it's sludgy and every riff oozes slime and blood."
Zware Metalen: "Een apart werk dat in zijn geheel beluisterd moet worden om grondig te kunnen beoordelen en beleven. Je zult op het net ongetwijfeld allerhande beschrijvingen terugvinden die deze schijf proberen te benaderen maar uiteindelijk is het vooral uw persoonlijke muzikale geschiedenis die asociaties zal leggen, aangezien het zo uiteenlopend old school is." 79/100
Thrashocore: "Malgré un nom des plus communs, The Dead est clairement un groupe original à la personnalité marquée qui n'a pas envie de se laisser enfermer dans les carcans habituels. Ritual Executions nous fait voyager entre death metal sombre et vicieux, doom lourd et hypnotique et sludge gras et groovy avec ce qu'il faut de talent dans les riffs et de surprises dans la composition pour ne pas se demander quand on arrive." 7.5/10
Bells of Armageddon: "Alors, Doom/Death ou Death/Doom? On s'en fout!! The Dead vient de sortir un putain d'excellent deuxième album. Un achat obligatoire pour toute personne aimant sa musique puant de la gueule."
Powermetal.de: "THE DEAD mögen sicher keine Band für jedermann sein, dafür ist ihr Sound zu dreckig, zu rau und vielleicht auch zu extrem. Aber die Australier haben auf ihrem Debüt durchaus Überzeugungsarbeit geleistet und eine starke Alternative für diejenigen geschaffen, die ihren Todesblei nicht sonderlich standardisiert mögen - und obendrauf brachialen Doom mögen." 7.5/10
NecroSlaughter: "Für Schöngeister sind THE DEAD wohl Abgesandte des Toifels! Und auch der konservative Death Metal Fan dürfte an der dreckigen Mischung einiges zu knabbern haben. Doch wer offen ist, und neugierig, wie man mit altbekannten Bausteinen und dem Mut zu frischen, andersartigen Ideen doch noch neue Impulse in ein fast angestaubtes Genre pusten kann, sollte “Ritual Executions” mal anhören."
Metal.de: "Nach einem in den ersten Minuten nur leicht überdurchschnittlichen Eindruck entfaltet THE DEADs Zweitwerk "Ritual Executions" mit zunehmender Dauer (und weiteren Durchläufen) schnell seinen Reiz. Es ist eingängig, ohne auch nur im Geringsten weichgespült zu sein; originell und abwechslungsreich, ohne es zu übertreiben oder zerfahren zu wirken. Mit "Born In A Grave" gibt es auf diesem frischen, enorm Groove-betonten Death(/Doom)-Metal-Album ein wahres Ungeheuer von einem Lied - brutal, doomig und doch unwiderstehlich rockig zugleich." 7/10
Fatalgrind: "Dass THE DEAD wirklich was drauf haben, entpuppt sich also nicht sofort, die zu suchenden Feinheiten verstecken sich hinter Düsternis und Schwere der Musik, da sollte man wohl tatsächlich genauer hinhören. Der Gitarrensound ist geprägt von absoluter Bleimentalität, wenn auch etwas schrammlig, passend dazu dürfen die Growls mit verschleimten und entzündeten Stimmbändern in den Abgründen menschlichen Unwohlseins entstanden sein." 7/10
Aristocrazia Webzine: "Inutile continuare a proferire parola alcuna, qui c'è solo da mettere mano al portafogli e far vostra una copia di "Ritual Executions". In attesa di un prossimo lavoro dei The Dead, seguite le uscite della Diabolical Conquest, le premesse sembrano delle migliori e la direzione intra ... presa dovrebbe regalare l'emozioni che ogni old schooler che si rispetti ricerca."
Friedof Magazine: "Putrefacción, muerte y sangre. Estas son las 3 premisas que os vais a encontrar dentro de este compacto. Todo ello bajo un sonido denso y plomizo que os sumergirá en un lodazal negro y oscuro como el carbón. Esta gente sabe cuando meter partes rápidas y rítmicas que nivelan la balanza con las lentas para no cansar al oyente." 8.00/10
Le Chant du Grillon: "L'album se termine avec les 10 minutes de "Death Metal Suicide". Titre instrumental qui prouve une fois de plus que le groupe a une forte personnalité. Cette fois-ci le batteur Chris Morse a troqué son kit de la mort pour un ensemble beaucoup plus soft, même constat avec les guitares qui laissent de côté l'aspect massif pour se concentrer sur des riffs aériens, voir paisibles (enfin par rapport aux autres titres) et quelques parties groovy qui tournent en boucle. Voici un titre idéal pour revenir à la réalité avant de réenclencher l'écoute de cet excellent skeud. A conseiller aux amateurs de sensations fortes et, de manière plus générale, aux amoureux du metal au sens large."
Metal Chroniques: "Avec un son crade, de la disto plus qu'il n'en faut, une voix caverneuse, sale et en retrait, une batterie lourde, une production underground, maison, mais qui sonne bien, des morceaux intéressants (le long et instrumental « Death Metal Suicide » de plus de 10 minutes vaut aussi le détour), et maintenant une diffusion à plus grande échelle, The Dead vaut le détour, et il n'y a plus qu'à espérer croiser nos trois Australiens bientôt sur les routes européennes." 8/10
Atlantic Tales: Главными плюсами “Ritual Executions” я бы назвал четко выверенный звук, грязноватый, будто окутанный тяжело оседающим дымом, тягучий и вязкий словно расплавленный воск, а также нежелание музыкантов зацикливаться на чем-то одном, удачно экспериментируя на стыке стилей. А уж после завершающего инструментального трека death metal действительно имеет моральное право покончить жизнь самоубийством." 8.5/10