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Dead Language…Self Titled Review

Nine songs, twenty minutes. Powerviolence is a genre known for not fucking around, and Dead Language’s ST LP hits like a boot to the jaw. One of the most anticipated hardcore releases of the year, Dead Language is about as perfect of a line up as you could hope for. Featuring members of Iron Lung, Walls, Solutions, No Comment, and Pig Heart Transplant, Dead Language live up to their pedigree, bringing that sense of urgency and hatred you can only truly find in powerviolence. With an average track length of just over a minute (with two major exceptions) you’d think this was going to be a simple affair. Instead every track crams about ten different ideas into a thirty second burst. Does it work? Well, that depends. If you can appreciate the ferocity of powerviolence then this is going to be a rewarding album to unpack, otherwise you may want to find something a little more melodic.

Ex-member of the legendary No Comment Andy Beattie’s vocals are huge. With a voice I can only describe as the Anti-Kieth Morris, Beattie’s guttural screams have both an immediacy and a sense of desperate rage behind them. Like a man being hauled to prison for a crime he didn’t commit his screams pierce straight into you. Lyrically, this album seethes with disgust. Song titles like “Paranoia”, “Ignorance”, “A New Dark Age”, and “Misanthropy” all push one point home, Dead Language fucking hate this planet. Themes of paranoia, disbelief, rejection of society, and ominous warnings run rampant here. Thankfully, Beattie’s incredible delivery makes them more than a side note, these lyrics are right up front with the rest of the band pounding themselves into your head.

Opener “Paranoia” starts with an ominous bass thrum and what sounds like crickets before dissolving into a flood of high pitched feedback. Like a rollercoaster building to a massive drop a simple riff appears over the noise before all hell breaks loose. Just as things reach a manic pitch they slow down again, Beattie’s vocals taking on the cadence of a paranoid drill instructor, solidified by the song’s last line, half threat, half warning, “THEY ARE OUT TO GET YOU”. Another highlight is “We Are Watching You Fall”. With a spazzed out drum line evocative of boots marching in double time, and a distorted bass line chugging along, this song hits like a nightmarish fever dream. With sparse guitar it really stretches what we think of as powerviolence, but the energy is absolutely on point.

The last two tracks on this album are interesting beasts. Weighing in at 2:54 and 9:22 respectively, these aren’t your average powerviolence songs.  “A New Dark Age” starts off with a sludgey riff that lasts nearly a minute before exploding, then slows down again that eventually washes out into sparse noise for almost a minute, filthy sounding bass the only discernible instrument. This dissolves into the epic “Misanthropy”. An almost serene sounding wall of noise gradually becomes more and more dissonant before the guitars drop in at. A pounding riff chugs along over a sea of noise, then the vocals kick in with a howl of “US VERSUS THEM”. “Misanthropy” never reaches the out and out chaos of the albums earlier tracks; instead it’s metered approach evokes a sludgier, more doomed out sound. It’s the perfect counterpoint to the rest of the album, and lasts nearly as long as everything before it combined. Ending on a torrent of harsh noise, “Misanthropy” is one of the most interesting moments on this album.

Dead Language is a no-brainer for any hardcore fan. An absolute powerviolence supergroup, Dead Language manages to never sound old, never sound too simple, instead their furious attacks pummel the listener from track to track, only giving you a chance to breathe when it’s over.

Dead Language-ST is currently available via

Check out the track “Short Straw” below





1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Andy Beattie

    July 31, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    Going to be brief. Incredible review! Thanks for the props. Guess @ 46 yrs young I still got it?

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