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Album Reviews : Dred – A Path To Extinction

By on September 16, 2008

Only thirty seconds into the release and the band’s technical proficiency is as obvious as can be. It was easily the first thing that hit me when putting on the debut release from Sydney-based band Dred. The machine-gun drumming, solid bass work and the bloody fast, technical guitars, it’s all so tight that it makes for a very professional sounding album whether you enjoy the music style or not. Luckily, the band doesn’t focus simply on the technical side of things like so many bands do. Dred’s death-injected-thrash is not only technically impressive, but it’s also damn powerful and will get your head moving no question.

Musically, the album is largely a cross between Annihilator-styled thrash and technical death metal, with a good balance of both. There are regular pace changes, switching from fast, thrashy guitars to mid-paced chugging, with the occasional melodic piece thrown into the mix. There’s quite a bit of variety but it all flows very well. It’s a full on assault too, clocking in at only 25 minutes, you don’t get much a break here. The vocals are the low(er) point of the album. They are fairly standard death growls that don’t really have a lot of power, but are decently executed. They are by no means ‘bad’ vocals, but they just don’t quite match up to the quality of the music. I’m interested to see whether this is the case live too though.

The first three tracks are great. They’re all fast paced, with each having a nice mix of styles, and it’s just extremely consistent writing. There’s not a bad moment in any of those songs. The closing track “Edifice of Tyranny” doesn’t quite stand up to the others though. It’s a tad longer at almost 8 minutes, but there are a few parts that just bored me a tad. It’s certainly not a bad track by any means, the second half is killer stuff, but it’s not quite as consistent as the other tracks.

“A Path To Extinction” is full of extremely well written and performed material and is definitely worth a listen. I would also like to mention how well presented and organised the band is, which is something a lot of Australian metal bands should take notice of. They’ve got very professional band shots, high-quality press images, nicely done music videos, flash banners, and everything else a band should have for promotion easily available on their MySpace or website. Kudos to the band for that. 8.7/10

For fans of: Annihilator, Psycroptic, Testament, Meshuggah.

Band: Dred
Album: A Path To Extinction
Year: 2006
Genre: Thrash/Technical Death
Label: Independant
Origin: Sydney, Australia

Track listing:
1. Absent From Entity <- Reviewers choice
2. Animal, Man… Machine
3. Sea To Summit
4. Edifice Of Tyranny


Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.