Deus Otiosus – Rise (Deepsend Records)Monday, 16th June 2014
With no prior knowledge of Deus Otiosus, between the slick grim reaper in their logo and the gnarly looking monster that adorns the cover of Rise, they should have their merchandising pretty well covered. But what good is merchandising if the material is subpar? Luckily, while their third album (and second for Deepsend Records) doesn’t really attain many individual style points, it is certain to please fans of death metal.
With the current trends of super-slick productions with a technical wow-factor and travel back through time old school death metal, Deus Otiosus sits comfortably in the middle. This is no-frills, by the book stuff for the most part, never looking to impress the listener with their ability to burn up and down the fretboard as fast as humanly possible nor relegate themselves to retrograde simplicity. Instead, the focus gears back to the song itself, making sure that the riffs are memorable and the solos are tasteful. Deus Otiosus don’t really try to bludgeon you to death with their material either. Keeping things within a framework that stays remarkably true to death metal, Rise is as brutal as it needs to be but doesn’t become a blur of raging guitar and thundering drums. There is a bit of a thrash influence that peeks it’s head out during some tracks (e.g. “Rising War” and “Walk The Shadows”) and does work well within the structure of the band.
While it might be “just another death metal album” to some, there’s no doubting that it is well done. Thankfully avoiding the excesses in either direction, Rise is really death metal in its purest form. The type of sound that is not attached to any particular movement or time period. How many albums can you say that about lately?