Love from With the Dead
Midterms of endearment
Release Date: September 22, 2017
Label: Rise Above
In academia, they say the second year of teaching is harder than the first, as the adrenaline bursts that come from molding young minds are quickly replaced by the mundanity of systematic education. Apparently, no one passed that memo to With the Dead—Love From With the Dead, the follow-up to their 2015 debut LP, has the Brits looking like tenured professors eager to dispense their wisdom to anyone who shows up to their Doom 101 class.
But did we expect anything else from the brains that brought us iconic records like Dopethrone and Forest of Equilibrium? At this point, getting a new doom album from Tim Bagshaw (ex-Electric Wizard) and Lee Dorrian (ex-Cathedral) is like taking in a business lecture by Elon Musk: Even if you forgot your notepad, you’re bound to be affected by the level of mastery at hand. The “aha” moment occurs a mere 40 seconds into opener “Isolation”—as Bagshaw’s fuzzy feedback lurches into a titanic riff and Dorrian expels one of his trademark wails, you’ll have no defense for the gratifying look of disgust that spreads across your face. Filthy riffs abound throughout Love from With the Dead, and even though the album’s 66-minute runtime means some of them flirt with monotony, the band’s command of hypnotic atmosphere fills in any attention-draining gaps, especially on closing epic “CV1.” And give it up for new drummer Alex Thomas, who took the unenviable task of replacing original Electric Wizard basher Mark Greening and turned in a dissertation worthy of a standing ovation.
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