The Pitch: French technical death metal quintet The Walking Dead Orchestra go toe to toe with some serious competition on their a reissue of their brutal 2017 album, Resurrect, via Unique Leader Records FFO: Reaping Asmodeia, Aborted, Archspire
What I Like: Holy crap, soooo many great tracks on this album. Choosing favorites is nearly impossible. I had pretty low expectations given that I was unfamiliar with the group and also coming down from marathon replays of the new The Black Dahlia Murder and Archspire's excellent Relentless Mutation: but goddam, Resurrect is every bit as good as those albums. Their name also had me making several (very wrong) assumptions about The Walking Dead Orchestra's sound, so if this is your first time to the rodeo know that they have nothing to do with the AMC show or symphonic orchestration.
Quite to the contrary, these guys play the popular, modernized brand of technical death metal we have some to expect from groups like Aborted. Hell, the vocals are even reminiscent of Sven's; alternating between syncopated, brutal growls and a more raspy, hardcore-influenced scream. And as much as the purist death metallers hate when I say this, TWDO dabble in deathcore as well. Their primary influences seem to be classic technical acts like Dying Fetus, but there are certainly moments where the grooves and tough guy vocals step forwards. I challenge you to play "Dogmes Anxiogenes," "Siamese Traitors," or "Demoligarchie" side-by-side with early Whitechapel and tell me that there aren't similarities. This is not a complaint mind you. The overall 70/30 ratio of these elements works perfectly to create something that is musically proficient while also being fun and consistently engaging.
Critiques: If I'm stacking this album up side-by-side with some of the other similar releases of the past 2 years, I think that Resurrent is missing some of the more unique elements of Relentless Mutation or Exocrine. Make no mistake, this album rips from start to finish, but it does so by leaning heavily on the sounds and techniques of their peers. There's very little individual identity.
The Verdict: Resurrect is a highly consistent mixture of tech death and deathcore bursting with talent and catchy, playlist-worthy material. Even several listens in I still had two thirds of it tagged as favorites. It's that good. Those looking for something fresh and original may have qualms in this area, but I feel that this argument is rendered moot by TWDO's many other strengths.
Flight's Fav's: Demoligarchie, Vengeful Flavors, Apostate
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