Down Among the Dead Men – Down Among the Dead Men (Cyclone Empire)

Friday, 6th December 2013
Rating: 5.5/10

This is a prime example of how some feel there are no ideas to left in death metal. The apparent supergroup of former Benediction/Bolt Thrower vocalist Dave Ingram and ubiquitous Rogga Johansson (no use in listing his bands – he’s probably forming a new one as you’re reading), Down Among the Dead Men parlay every used guitar riff, vocal excursion, and song pattern into a rough 13-song debut, one that should give pause to any veteran thinking of whipping up some buddies for a “fun project” go-round. Here’s a tip: Don’t do it like these two.

Ingram’s always been a passable singer to begin, having fronted the Benediction/Bolt Thrower pair when both had leveled off. With Down Among the Dead Men, he’s given a dry, poultry selection of riffs in which to work. Take any predictable, punk-breasted riff and mix it with death metal, and that’s pretty much how a lot of the guitar ideas here translate. Occasionally, some side-crunch works its way in (“Infernal Nexus”), but some of these go beyond remedial level that one starts wonder how quickly this album came together. A hazy Saturday afternoon practice?

Even with an accompanying song about themselves (you guessed it: titled “Down Among the Dead Men”), the alarming lack of creativity across these 13 songs is overly disappointing. And while few would question the respective abilities between Ingram and Johansson, one has to wonder what their intent was with this. Utterly pointless.

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