Dead Earth Politics – The Mobius Hammersmith EP (Pavement)

Thursday, 23rd March 2017
Rating: 8/10

An unsigned band for seriously way too long, Austin’s Dead Earth Politics have been snatched up by Pavement Music for the re-release of their 2016 The Mobius Hammersmith EP. Routinely cited as one of the best metal bands from their home city (as evidenced by their impressive streak of “Best Metal Band” award from Austin Music Awards), Dead Earth Politics are one of the few outfits capable of aligning modern metal with the ideals of the old-school. On The Mobius Hammersmith, the gents offer up another tightly-wound batch of songs, including two bonus tracks for the re-release.

The obvious motion here would be Lamb of God-on-Iron Maiden, which, on the surface, seems like a reach. Sure, vocalist Ven Scott has the natural Southern growled-dude-vocal thing down, but when he reaches into his clean vocal repertoire, that’s when DEP’s songs start to take shape. While cuts like “Runescarred” and “Broad Wings and Distant Shores” work through groove-laden segments matched with sniping guitar solos, it is Scott’s layered and harmonious vocals on the title track and “Wretched Things” is where the band’s take on that “classic” metal feel finds its place, all without having to duck down into retrograde territory.

The two bonus songs (“Redneck Dragonslayer” and “Ice and Fire”) sweeten the pot, although there’s always an inherent risk in re-releasing an album seven months after the fact. Never the matter, Dead Earth Politics continue their sterling run of EPs with The Mobius Hammersmith. They won’t be Austin’s best-kept secret for much longer.

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