Album Review – The Glorious Dead / Into Lifeless Shrines (2020)

Ranging from blasting intensity to a more down-trodden doom crawl, enjoy over 50 minutes of “Filthy Northern Death Metal” by this talented Michigan, US-based act.

Founded by T.J. Humlinski (Feast Eternal) and Marty Rytkonen (Prosthesis, Slaunchwise, Charnel Valley, Bindrune Recordings) in Traverse City, a city in the U.S. state of Michigan, Death Metal four-piece act The Glorious Dead is a band that finds its roots planted somewhere back in 2008 and 2009 with the three-song demo The Burdensome Ceremony of Internment. Upon suffering a few line-up changes the band went dormant until 2017, when drummer Chris Fulton (Reasonable Deception, Neither) relocated to the area and agreed to join the band. With Chris Boris from the Northern Michigan band and forest metal stalwarts Pan permanently joining the ranks on bass, the band finalized a two-year quest and all necessary material for their debut full-length album Into Lifeless Shrines, offering the listener songs that range from blasting intensity to a more down-trodden doom crawl. Highly influenced by ancient Death Metal and the 80’s darkened thrash movement, The Glorious Dead focuses on memorable and diseased sounding riffs lurking at its core in Into Lifeless Shrines, resulting in the rise of what they like to call “Filthy Northern Death Metal”.

The eerie, cinematic intro Solium Mortis opens the gates of hell to the putrid and violent Vitreous Hemmorhage, a solid and straightforward Death Metal song with no shenanigans where T.J. roars and growls like a creature of the underworld while his bandmates generate a venomous ambience with their instruments, whereas Chris Fulton pounds his drums nonstop in the heavy-as-hell The Noise of Gravediggers, another bestial Death Metal feast with T.J. and Marty extracting sheer savagery from their stringed axes, living up to the legacy of renowned acts like Cannibal Corpse, Deicide and Morbid Angel. And they keep smashing our skulls with their brutality in Cranial Festering, where Chris Boris and Chris Fulton generate a dense and menacing base perfect for T.J. to thrive with his gruesome gnarls, maintaining the album at a high level of aggressiveness and obscurity.

The band then ventures through the realms of Doom Metal and Blackened Doom, and the final result is a sluggish and grim creation entitled Tenebris Arca, with the slashing sound of the guitars bringing an extra touch of malignancy to the overall result, while the crushing beats by Chris Fulton dictate the rhythm in the venomous Putrefactive Adoration, a brutal display of classic Death Metal shredding by the band’s guitar duo, all spiced up by the always vile guttural by T.J. After such high level of dementia, it’s time for the quartet to arise from the pits of the netherworld and fire one more round of bestiality in the form of Reunite in Grotesque, a lecture in old school Death Metal with no artificial elements, just plain, unfiltered violence, tons of shredding and the unstoppable beats by Chris Fulton. And even darker than its predecessors, Celebrate the Corpse blends Death and Doom Metal with subtle nuances of Black and Thrash Metal, presenting a great job on the guitars by both T.J. and Marty while Chris Boris keeps delivering endless groove through his bass punches.

Into Lifeless Shrines, one of their oldest compositions, comes smashing our heads mercilessly, showcasing a violent pace boosted by the song’s austere lyrics while once again bringing to our avid ears classic Death Metal spiced up by the most Stygian elements from Doom Metal, and the rumbling bass by Chris Boris kicks off the also visceral Leave it with the Worms, where the guitars by T.J. and Marty will pierce your ears while Chris Fulton gives us all a very good reason for slamming into the pit. Following this ode to darkness, Cannibal Corpse-inspired riffage and intricate and berserk beats are the main ingredients in the Death Metal extravaganza titled The Ruin of Flesh, with T.J. demonstrating all his skills as a growler once again, and there’s nothing better than a huge dosage of gore and violence to end a Death Metal album, which is exactly what you’ll get in Exordium of Decay, with its wicked guitar solos and hammering drums keeping the music vibrant and grim until the song’s climatic finale.

If you consider yourself a fan of underground Death Metal, then you should definitely give the guys from The Glorious Dead a try, as their raw and pulverizing creations might be exactly what you’re looking for in extreme music. Hence, don’t forget to follow them on Facebook for news, tour dates and other details about the band, and purchase a copy of Into Lifeless Shrines from the Bindrune Recordings’ BandCamp page or webstore, fueling The Glorious Dead to keep demolishing our heads and disturbing our peace with their frantic and heavy Death Metal for many years to come. Put differently, let’s all hail the northern hordes of Death Metal together with the talented metallers from The Glorious Dead, with Into Lifeless Shrines marking the most cohesive and detailed step in their career so far.

Best moments of the album: The Noise of Gravediggers, Tenebris Arca and Reunite in Grotesque.

Worst moments of the album: Celebrate the Corpse.

Released in 2020 Bindrune Recordings

Track listing
1. Solium Mortis (Intro) 1:42
2. Vitreous Hemmorhage 4:17
3. The Noise of Gravediggers 5:02
4. Cranial Festering 3:16
5. Tenebris Arca 5:27
6. Putrefactive Adoration 4:21
7. Reunite in Grotesque 4:14
8. Celebrate the Corpse 5:33
9. Into Lifeless Shrines 4:20
10. Leave it with the Worms 4:11
11. The Ruin of Flesh 5:25
12. Exordium of Decay 4:37

Band members
T.J. Humlinski – vocals, guitars
Marty Rytkonen – guitars
Chris Boris – bass
Chris Fulton – drums

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