Based in the sleepy town of Rochester, NY, Undeath are a brand new death metal power trio, and their demo, simply titled Demo ‘19, has more killer and twisting riffs than an interdimensional shambler has tentacles. While you jam/fall victim to their serpentine death metal ways, read below to better understand the three musicians behind this incredible debut.
UNDEATH – Demo ’19
1. Unadorned Coffin
2. Ineffable Tumult
3. Perverted Self Reflections
4. Mortuary Breeze
5. Archfiend Coercion Method
Undeath is Alex (vocals), Kyle (guitars), and Matt (drums). The three of them all came together to form Undeath. Astonishingly, they’d never played in bands together before.
According to Kyle: “Being in a death metal band in Rochester is fun. The scene isn’t too overcrowded with young bands here so people are generally stoked and appreciative about new bands that are coming up. Plus we have a lot of friends here, so that helps a lot.”
While Alex says it was “the opening riff to ‘Slit Your Guts’ by Cryptopsy” that “made [him] want to do nothing but play death metal forever,” for Undeath’s guitarist Kyle it was “the halftime middle riff in ‘Five Nails Through the Neck’ by Cannibal Corpse.”
Kyle explains how Undeath first came to be: “The writing process started around August of 2018, right around when I met Matt and jammed with him for the first time, and concluded in late September. Once we knew we had a band, we hit Alex up to sing for us ’cause we knew he’s great on stage and has a great voice. We recorded the songs pretty spaced out over those 2 months as they got finished and we learned them.”
Despite being a rehearsal space demo recording, Undeath’s Demo ‘19 sounds like heavenly tumult. The guitars are clear so there’s no missing what horrors are strangling you. The drums kick you right in the solar plexus. The cymbals are so crisp, and the vocals are perfectly situated in the mix.
“We did the recording in the rehearsal space onto my broken Thinkpad,” Kyle continues, “and I have rudimentary recording experience. The drums were tracked live along with a live guitar take, but my live guitar sounded like absolute shit so I overdubbed better ones. The vocals were overdubbed as well. My friend Ben Cultrara mixed and mastered the demo.”
“‘Unadorned Coffin was the first song written,” Kyle says, “and the way it starts right off with the vocals we knew it should be the first track as well. It’s just fast, heavy and perfect to kick things off without wasting anyone’s time.”
Kyle continues: “‘Perverted Self Reflections’ was written last and we wanted it to [be a] contrast from the rest of the songs. Everything on the demo churns at a pretty relentless pace so we really wanted something that grooved more to give the other songs some breathing room.”
As for “Mortuary Breeze,” a synth track that’s anything but filler, Alex says: “Kyle won’t admit it but he’s a wizard when it comes to tickling those ivories.”
The demo’s eschatological closer, “Archfiend Coercion Methods” is, according to Kyle, Undeath “trying to channel a little Covenant-era Morbid Angel.”
By now you’ve gathered that, besides being incredible musicians who vibe together perfectly to create your new favorite up-and-coming death metal band, Undeath are also the farthest thing from being pretentious about their music. This is once more apparent during the interview whenever the band is asked what their lyrics are about.
“Dying,” Kyle says, “being killed, tombs housing dead people, living as a zombie raised by aliens, you name it, but overall… DEATH. Simple as that.”
As for the evocative and probably actually haunted painting that adorns Demo ‘19, Kyle explains that Undeath’s own drummer Matt is behind the artwork.
“[Matt] is a sick artist and an insane drummer,” Kyle says. “[The cover’s] just gross and crazy-looking and makes me feel uncomfortable when I stare at it for too long, which is exactly the vibe we’re going for.”
The physical manifestation of Undeath’s powerful debut will, thankfully, be handled by stateside cassette juggernaut Caligari Records. When asked how the deal with Caligari came about, Kyle says: “We just emailed him on a whim because we love his stuff and his total dedication to the underground. Dude’s not out for clout, if you know what I mean. None of the positive response would have come if it wasn’t for him, so thank you Caligari!
“Also, we went with tapes because true cave-freaks still have cassette players in their cars, and those are our people.”
“As far as the future goes,” Kyle adds, “we’re just going to keep doing our thing and writing heavy shit.
“We have a bunch of new songs mostly written at the time of this writing. They will be more heavy, have more riffs, have more riffs that have more notes and have more lyrics about fucking dying. We’re also playing shows and trying to tour near you, so let’s fucking get it!
“Thanks for listening and we’ll see you on the road!”