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Album Reviews : In Dread Response – From the Oceanic Grave

By on May 7, 2009

Set to tour Australia (starting this weekend, May 8th 2009), I have been suitably impressed by New Zealand band In Dread Response and their relatively mature ‘Gothenburg’ styled death metal album titled ‘From the Oceanic Grave’. It is always a challenge to record an album to stand out in a genre that has been flooded in recent years, and on this their debut album the Kiwi boys have come up with something that is honest to their influences, and overall quite enjoyable.

With the albums closest relatives being Japanese stalwarts Blood Stain Child’s early works along with Swedish maestros Dark Tranquillity, the album does occasionally fall into patches of generic melodic death metal riffing. However that isn’t to say that the album is boring and unimaginative. The regular original moments outweigh the generics significantly and add a touch of freshness to the somewhat stale genre. The occasional hint of metalcore influences adds range to the album, and shouldn’t detract from any ‘metalcore haters’ getting enjoyment out of it.

The use of acoustic and distorted segments in songs is the most likable thing that I took from the album. This is best shown in the track ‘Lost Avenues’, which while the song is no technical marvel, it offers truly passionate music and is the clear highlight in the album to me. The sound production is good, but sometimes the guitars fall a little to the way side in terms of a really big sound, but they are audible at all times unlike the bass which for those on our forums might know is a bad thing in my book! A bonus mention of some suitable and interesting artwork accompanying the cd which relates further to some of the lyrical themes on the album.

With added originality and a couple more releases under their belt, In Dread Response could well take over NZ metal from current ‘leaders’ 8 Foot Sativa and possibly even make a name for themselves worldwide. 7/10

Band: In Dread Response
Album: From the Oceanic Grave
Year: 2008
Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Label: Deadboy Records
Origin: Auckland, New Zealand

Track listing:
1. Viral Grounds
2. Paint the World in Solitude
3. Cannons at Dawn
4. Scarecrows in the Sky
5. Concrete Sanctuary
6. Remembrance
7. Lost Avenues (Reviewers Choice)
8. Call of the Carrion
9. Stillborn Kingdom
10. The Begotten
11. Black Soterion